The BFI has awarded National Lottery funding to the Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub through its Creative Clusters Challenge Fund which aims to support the growth of emerging screen sector centers outside London and the South-East and enable the UK film, TV and games industry to expand and maintain its competitiveness in a global industry.
The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub which comprises a consortium of organizations in Yorkshire and the Humber will receive £127,000 through the BFI’s Creative Clusters Fund as seed funding for a plan to expand the region’s creative sector infrastructure and skills base, attract further private investment and enable the region to complement Media City and the North East in expanding its growing and vibrant screen and media industries. The BFI Award is matched by regional partners to create a total investment of £254,000.
Leeds has the greatest digital and creative business growth in the region; the creative industries represent York’s fastest growing sector; Sheffield is an international hub for documentary and digital media; and Hull features as one of the top 16 digital clusters in the Tech Nation 2015 report Powering the Digital Economy.
The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub consortium partners Screen Yorkshire, Game Republic and Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Sheffield
Doc/Fest) have drawn match funding from the cities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York; the local authorities for Calderdale, Harrogate and
Kirklees and six leading UK universities – Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds Beckett, Sheffield Hallam and York. Lead industry bodies including Creative
Skillset, TIGA and UKIE are supporting the creative cluster bid alongside industry partners and businesses including Warp Films, True North, Daisybeck
Studios, Prime Studios, Fettle Animation, 104 Films and Revolution Software.
Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI says, “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 says, “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. Over the last three years alone, Screen Yorkshire has invested more than £14 million into 38 feature films and TV programs, including the new feature film 'Dad’s Army,' award-winning TV drama 'Peaky Blinders' and BAFTA™ nominated feature '’71.'
“We’ll be embarking on a program of work from January 2016, in partnership with industry leaders Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest, to shape the
region’s screen landscape for years to come; stimulating economic growth, creating new jobs and helping us to nurture a new generation of talent helping to
establish Yorkshire as a global center for film, television and gaming.”
Yorkshire has seen a surge in production of major feature films and TV productions establishing a strong reputation for the region’s production facilities, crews, talent and locations. Screen Yorkshire’s own investment in 38 film and TV productions through the Yorkshire Content Fund has generated over £40 million of spend on the region’s businesses, services and talent. Major films which have been made in Yorkshire include "Dad’s Army" currently number one at the UK box office following its release on Friday (5 February) and the upcoming adaptation of "Swallows and Amazons" as well as "Testament of Youth," "A Royal Night Out," and the award-winning "’71." Major TV productions made in the region include the multi award-winning TV series "Peaky Blinders," "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell," "An Inspector Calls," "Jericho," "Victoria," "Happy Valley" and "This is England."
Yorkshire and Humber also has a strong video games ecosystem which includes business network Game Republic, as well as major internationally-recognized
games studios including Team17, Sumo Digital and Revolution Software, as well as informal groups such as GaMaYo, and smaller independent start-ups such as
Red Kite Games and Boneloaf. Yorkshire and Humber is also home to Games Britannia, an award-winning video games education festival hosted by Sheffield
Hallam, and the innovative and exciting Platform Expos in Hull.
The region also has strong international business and cultural links including with emerging markets for the creative sector. Sheffield Doc/Fest, a world leading documentary festival that celebrates the art and business of documentary, welcomes over 30,000 documentary-makers and film lovers each June, including 3,500 industry delegates from more than 60 countries. Bradford is the first city in the world to be a UNESCO City of Film; Bradford and York are connected with 69 cities in 32 countries through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network; the region’s university and college partners have forged partnerships with Mumbai, Malaysia and China; and York is also a member of the Connecting Cities media arts network which encourages collaboration with cities spanning Berlin to Sao Paulo and Helsinki to Melbourne.
The screen industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories delivering significant economic and cultural benefits to the UK - the BFI’s statistics
for last year showed that over £1.4 billion was spent on film and high-end TV production in the UK alone. London and the South East are central to the UK’s
success as it is where the vast majority of screen businesses are based but to sustain growth in this fast-growing sector and maintain the UK’s
international competitiveness, developing capacity outside the capital and the South East is essential. Capitalising on the creative, technological and
business development opportunities that are generating growth elsewhere in the UK is central to the BFI’s UK-wide ambitions and strategy for the UK’s film
and screen sector.
The BFI’s Creative Cluster Challenge Fund was launched in summer 2015 to encourage and support emerging screen industry clusters (film, television, animation and video games) outside London and the South East. The award to the Yorkshire region follows a competitive applications process. The BFI intends to re-open applications to the fund, for a second round of awards, in May 2016.
The North of England is home to 15 million people comparable to 17 million in London and the South East combined.