The trade title Broadcast has unveiled its annual ranking of the UK’s leading independent producers. Lime, Red and True North are the three highest ranked indies head-quartered in the North, but the compilation also reveals a growing number of Northern bases being established around MediaCity.
The ranking, which is officially published today, has Liverpool’s Lime Pictures, owned by All3Media, at number six in the UK with a turnover of £60m. The company’s leading credits are Hollyoaks, TOWIE and Geordie Shore.
Red Productions, based in Manchester, is ranked number 24 with a turnover of £25m with its key credits last year being Scott & Bailey and Last Tango In Halifax.
True North, based in Leeds, is the third highest ranked Northern indie with turnover last year of just over £7m for programmes including The Valleys and Dick and and Dom Go Wild.
The ranking is dominated by London indies although the number of companies now opening or already running increasingly successful Northern bases is growing rapidly, largely though not exclusively, on the back of developments at MediaCity and the growing interest being shown in Manchester, particularly as a production base.
Sue Woodward, a former ITV Granada MD and now chief executive of The Sharp Project, which recently announced plans to develop the former ICL building in Gorton into yet more production space, has frequently observed that the current lack of available major production space in Manchester has led to several productions being turned away.
Some of the leading London- based indies ranked in the compilation have now established a physical presence in Manchester or the North. They include Tiger Aspect (Mount Pleasant), Company Pictures (Shameless and other), Shine North, Babycow Manchester, Channel X North (Hebburn), Abbott Vision (its operations are divided between London and Manchester) and Blakeway North.
Several other successful Northern indies were, however, for various reasons, not listed within the compilation.
These include RSJ Films and LA Productions, both of whom enjoyed another prolific year in 2012, Nine Lives Media whose turnover has risen to £2.3m says its boss Cat Lewis, Title Role Productions, Jellylegs and the and the Mob Film Company.