Yorkshire wins funding to grow film hub

Yorkshire has been announced by the BFI as the winner of National Lottery funding, aimed at encouraging emerging screen sector hubs outside London and the South East. 

The BFI’s Creative Clusters Challenge Fund money will go to the Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub, the first such winner in a nationwide plan for economic growth and development within the creative industries. 

Screen Yorkshire, which hosts the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK, will work alongside Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest to build sustainable growth across the creative sector in the region. Funding will be matched by a countywide consortium. 

The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub will initially receive £127,000 to expand the infrastructure and skills base in a scheme called Creating the Production Powerhouse, to take effect for nine months from March. 

The total once combined with the local partners’ funding – including investment from the local authorities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York, Calderdale, Harrogate and Kirklees - will be over £250,000. 

Other local investment partners include industry bodies Creative Skillset, TIGA and UKIE; the four Yorkshire and Humber Local Enterprise Partnerships and creative contributors Warp Films, True North, Daisybeck Studios, Prime Studios, Fettle Animation, 104 Films and Revolution Software.

Yorkshire has hosted several high-profile productions over recent years, including feature films Swallows & Amazons and Testament of Youth, and TV series Jericho and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. The Yorkshire Content Fund invested over £14m into 38 film and TV projects since its launch four years ago.   

Chief executive of the BFI Amanda Nevill said of the new funding announcement: "There's something exciting happening in Yorkshire's screen sector and there is huge potential in this dynamic region, so we're thrilled to support such a range of fantastic partners who have come together with one common goal: to ensure Yorkshire's burgeoning screen industries continue to grow and flourish. 

“The UK's screen industries are thriving and if we are to support future growth it is vital that more areas outside London become international hubs - this support for Yorkshire is significant and we look forward to announcing further Creative Clusters in the coming months."

Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire, added: ‘’This is fantastic news for everyone working in the film, TV and gaming sectors in Yorkshire, now and in the future. It’s a huge vote of confidence in our screen industries and will enable us to build a compelling case for further investment in the sector.’’

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