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DCF Anchor Event: Made in the North Summit & Exhibition

Bringing together the North's powerhouse media, production and broadcast sectors for a day of actionable insights and collaboration.


Part of Digital City Festival 2024

The last 10 years are an undisputed story of success for the North of England’s media and broadcast sectors, as perceptions have now shifted to position the North as ‘the place to be’ on an international stage. The ecosystem is rich and diverse from established players, increased representation from public service broadcasting, and an array of indies bubbling innovation across the board from production to gaming, esports, immersive tech and more.

But this isn’t the full picture. Like it or not, we are in a state of flux with challenges of all sorts rolling in from access to investment, fragmented collaboration, external competition and talent shortages to name a few.

Join us in a must-attend conference in Mediacity, that will unite Northern media producers and showcase some of the wonderful talent the North has to offer.

The event will see leaders in the media and broadcasting sectors come together for a thought-provoking discussion on how the industry can work together better and consolidate the existing success. Where do we all go from here and how can you get involved? Consider this your call to arms as time is of the essence!

Full coverage and key takeaways from the event will be available across all our Prolific North channels post event.


Event Opens
The impact of AI on creativity and the creative industry

As AI is integrating rapidly into various aspects of our lives, its impact on creativity and people within the creative industry becomes increasingly nuanced. This panel discussion will explore how AI is reshaping the creative landscape, exploring both challenges and opportunities it presents.

- Criss Richards, Creative Technologist at McCann Manchester
- Steve Henderson, Director & CEO of the Manchester Animation Festival
- Laura Harper, Partner, Digital, Commerce and Creative at Lewis Silkin LLP
- David Holt, Voice over artist & actor

What is the direction of travel for sustainable productions?

At a time where media consumption is at an all-time high, sustainability has become a pressing concern. From television shows to live events, the broadcast industry plays a significant role in shaping public discourse and cultural narratives. But amidst this influence, what is the direction of travel for sustainable broadcast productions? Whether you're a seasoned sustainability advocate or new to the journey, join this talk to learn how industry leaders are navigating this transformative journey and gain actionable strategies to propel your organisation towards a more sustainable future.

- Zen Barry Sustainability Manager - Production at BBC
- Rob Page - Managing Director of Space Studios
- Lily Limmer - Sustainability Manager - Picture Zero

Importance of Face-to-Face Experiences in a Digital World

Digital communication offers convenience, innovation and efficiency but face to face experiences remain essential for fostering human connection, meaningful relationships and maximising opportunities for success. We’ll explore how important this is and the role face to face has to play in our digital future.

- Jo Madeley, Managing Director at Cascade
- Andy Unsworth, Content Producer at Cascade

Made in the North Summit opens
Opening session: the macro forces affecting media and broadcast

Rapid technological advancements and shifting consumer behaviours are having a profound impact on the future of media and broadcast. This panel will delve into key trends and disruptions from the rise of streaming platforms to the influence of social media as we examine how these macro forces are reshaping content consumption, business models, and regulatory frameworks.

- Caroline Cooper Charles, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire
- Howard Tattersall, Marketing Director at Footasylum
- Chris Cowey, Producer & Director
- Fabian Bohan-Taghian, Development Executive and Series Producer

Innovation & immersive technology

- Simon Benson, Technologist at Talent For Tech
- Richard Wormwell, Head of Product Innovation at dock10
- Pete Woodbridge, R&D Innovation Manager at MediaCity Immersive Technologies Innovation Hub

Networking break

An opportunity to attend the Made in the North Exhibition downstairs and meet some of the North's talent

Access to talent - how do we solve the sector’s talent crisis and create a more sustainable and inclusive jobs market in the media and broadcasting sectors?

- Dr Sarah Haynes - Media Production, Film Studies and Journalism Lead at Liverpool Screen School
- Philippa Childs - Deputy General Secretary at Bectu
- Professor Kirsty Fairclough - SODA Head of Research and Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan University
- Colin McKevitt - Managing Director at Badger & Combes
- Jackson Armstrong - Director of Business Development at Access Industry

Keynote session: Screw The Silos - Bringing The North Together

- Laura Caveney-Morgan, Executive Editor of Tonight - ITV Studios
- Chris Curley, Head of Nations and Regions, Pact
- Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen
- Colin McKeown, Founder & Producer - LA Productions

Networking and Drinks Reception


Chriss Richards
Criss Richards
Creative Technologist
McCann Manchester
Criss heads up McCann Manchester’s tech innovation lab, The Sandbox. Leveraging extensive expertise across hardware, development, and data for creative tech solutions. His role is key in guiding the agency’s innovative development, ensuring a cutting-edge grasp of AI’s capabilities with the advertising realm’s evolving landscape.
Dr Steve Henderson Talking
Dr Steve Henderson
Festival Director & CEO
Manchester Animation Festival
Steve is Festival Director and CEO of Manchester Animation Festival and a founding member of the team. He is also the editor and co-owner of, the UK’s biggest online animation magazine and community. Steve has a PhD in Animation Archives and British Children's Television Animation from Loughborough University.
Laura Harper
Laura Harper
Partner - Digital, Commerce & Creative Team
Lewis Silkin LLP
Laura advises businesses and professionals in the creative industries and innovation sectors on commercial agreements and IP strategy. She has a wealth of experience in complex intellectual property issues notably across the games, design and communications, fashion, culture and TV sectors. Laura began her career in publishing in London before qualifying as a lawyer in Manchester and is recognised as one of the pioneers of specialist legal advice to the creative industries in the city region.
David Holt
Voice over artist & actor
David is one of the UK’s foremost animation voice talents, having worked on over 100 series and countless films for all the major studios in the UK and beyond. He joins the event to talk about his own personal experience in relation to AI where an AI speech-to-text tool lifted his voice without his knowledge or permission for commercial use.
Zen Barry
Zen Barry
Sustainability Manager - Production
Having joined the BBC in Autumn 2023 from ITV Studios, Zen brings a wealth of experience from production management and use of the Bafta albert toolkit. Motivated to bring people together, Zen works collaboratively to support BBC productions across the UK with practical and actionable solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
Rob Page
Rob Page
Managing Director
Space Studios
Rob Page is the MD of MCDA, the company that develops, manages, and operates Screen Manchester, Space Studios Manchester, The Sharp Project and Arbeta. During his time at MCDA he has overseen the creation of the Film Office for Manchester in Screen Manchester, significant expansion at Space Studios Manchester and the £10M refurbishment of Arbeta. Prior to MCDA Rob spent 10+ years managing the finances of WPP agency JWT Cheetham Bell and IPG agency Momentum.
Lily Limmer
Lily Limmer
Sustainability Manager
Picture Zero
Lily has worked as a Sustainability Manager for some of the biggest TV shows and films being produced in the UK, with clients including Netflix, Apple TV+, Sky and Warner Brothers. Her sustainability efforts have been recognised by The British Film Designer’s Guild and The Global Production Awards at Cannes Film Festival 2023.
Jo Madeley Headshot
Jo Madeley
Managing Director
With over a decade of experience in live events and storytelling, Jo is passionate about creating unforgettable experiences that leave a lasting impression. Her background is in broadcasting and storytelling, having previously worked across a number of independent production companies as well as ITV. Jo joined Cascade in 2013 working across the digital department and live events – challenging how to innovate the way experiences are brought to life.
Andy 3315
Andy Unsworth
Content Producer
Andy has been in strategic, creative and production roles for over 10 years. Before joining Cascade, he worked across Manchester’s creative agencies and enjoyed a spell at the BBC. His unique blend of skills direct strategy and creative from insight to ideas and execution.
Howard Tattersall
Howard Tattersall
Marketing Director
Howard is a passionate brand marketing director responsible for developing and implementing the brand marketing strategy of Footasylum. Howard started on the Footasylum shop floor in 2009 and has progressed through the business. Howard’s remit covers brand, social, retail and creative marketing as well as content production.
Caroline Cooper Charles
Caroline Cooper Charles
Chief Executive
Screen Yorkshire
As Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire Caroline champions the film, TV and wider screen industries in Yorkshire & Humber and provides leadership to a talented team of industry experts who deliver skills and talent development, production support and content investment. Caroline’s 25-year career within the screen industries has evolved from running her first production company with acclaimed music video director Dawn Shadforth to her previous role as Head of Creative at Screen Yorkshire.
Chris Cowey.jpeg
Chris Cowey
Producer & Director
Over the past 25 years Chris Cowey has built a world-class reputation in the TV industry, producing and directing some of the most successful music shows in the world like 'The Brit Awards' (ITV), Glastonbury (C4, BBC 1 & 2) as well as creating and producing critically acclaimed music show 'The White Room' for Channel 4, a multi-award winning live music programme. Under his tenure as Executive Producer and Director, and ‘Top Of The Pops’ Brand Director, viewing figures doubled to over 5m.
Fabian Bohan Taghian
Fabian Bohan-Taghian
Development Executive and Series Producer
Fabian is a freelance Development Executive and Series Producer, with over a decade's experience working for some of the North's biggest TV production companies. Fabian also sits on the committee for the Royal Television Society North West, is a Co-Founder of the talent network Northern TV Developers and regularly works with the University Of Salford and its students - all to promote the continued growth of the Television industry in the North West.
Simon Benson Headshot
Simon Benson
Talent for Tech
Simon Benson is a leading technology consultant, specialising in immersive and real-time interactive development. He is a rare find outside of Silicon Valley with close to 30 years of commercial immersive development experience, including military R&D, motorsports and consumer entertainment. Career highlights include leading multi-million-dollar AAA game projects, pioneering stereoscopic 3D console gaming and founding the PlayStation VR project.
Richard Wormwell
Richard Wormwell
Head of Product Innovation
Richard Wormwell has over 25 years experience in the broadcast sector, holding numerous high-profile global positions. With a background in broadcast engineering, Richard forged a career as a multi-camera studio director, working for major UK and international broadcasters. He now serves as dock10’s Head of Production Innovation, spearheading the facility's innovation strategy, with a particular focus on the creative and technical practices of virtual production.
Pete Woodbridge
Pete Woodbridge
R&D Innovation Manager
Mediacity Immersive Technologies Innovation Hub
Pete's background crosses creative technology, virtual and realtime content production in film and tv, immersive brand experiences and software innovation. He has previously worked at studios including PathwayXR, Crucial FX, TMRW and Draw & Code on projects that blend the physical and the virtual.
Philippa Childs Bectu
Philippa Childs
Deputy General Secretary
BECTU is the largest union at the BBC, and has a strong presence in many of the UK’s leading theatres, arts centres and independent broadcasting and production companies. Childs worked in the civil service throughout the 1980s and started her union career as a negotiations officer with the National Union of Civil and Public Servants in 1989. Childs joined EMA, which is now part of BECTU’s parent union Prospect, in 2000.
Dr Sarah Haynes
Dr Sarah Haynes
Media Production, Film Studies and Journalism Lead
Liverpool Screen School
Her background covers film, video, interactive and immersive media and ranges from working in production to community media work, further education and higher education, teaching, research and programme management. As Subject Leader for Media Production, Film Studies and Journalism at the Liverpool Screen School, Liverpool John Moores University she leads three very successful practice-based subject areas with students from level 3 Foundation to PhD.
Professor Kirsty Fairclough
Professor Kirsty Fairclough
SODA Head of Research and Innovation
Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Kirsty Fairclough is Head of Research and Innovation at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University and a passionate advocate for Manchester and its world leading cultural output. She is the current Chair of Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester's longest running music festival. Kirsty has published widely on digital and popular culture. She is a regular commentator on popular culture featuring on BBC News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Manchester and more.
Colin Director
Colin McKevitt
Managing Director
Badger & Combes
Colin McKevitt is the Managing Director of Badger & Combes, a dynamic digital media production company based at MediaCityUK. Badger & Combes specialises in harnessing cutting edge technologies to deliver creative solutions that captivate audiences. Driven by a commitment to nurturing digital talent, Badger & Combes goes beyond traditional production methods. Their unique approach involves training individuals at the heart of media, empowering them to become skilled professionals in the field.
Alison Gwynn
Alison Gwynn
Chief Executive
North East Screen
Alison leads North East Screen, North East England’s Screen Agency whose work is focused on economic recovery and growth to deliver the sustainable development of the screen industries in the region. Alison has over 25 years’ experience in culture and creative industry from providing marketing leadership at the Centre for Life to being instrumental in the planning and development of Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books.
Laura Caveney Morgan Headshot
Laura Caveney-Morgan
Executive Editor at Tonight
ITV Studios
Laura Caveney-Morgan is the Executive Editor of Tonight, the UK’s most watched current affairs series. She also oversees the digital strategy and social media production for in-house MultiStory brands.With over 23 years of production experience, she started her career at Granada TV on Stars in Their Eyes. Her previous roles include Series Producing factual entertainment shows for the BBC including Save My Holiday and Marrying Mum and Dad, winning two BBC Production Awards.
Chris Curley 2022 3
Chris Curley
Head of Nations & Regions
Chris is a former Commissioning Editor and Head of Development at Comedy Central UK. Chris has great depth and breadth of development and production experience.
Colin LA Productions
Colin McKeown
Founder & Producer
LA Productions
Colin is primarily known as a drama and film producer but has also produced factual, comedy, documentaries and light entertainment programmes. With over 50 years experience in the industry, he's worked pretty much everywhere, on everything. Credits include Brookside, Liverpool 1, Care, BBC drama Broken, Moving on to name but a few! In 2013 Colin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate award by Edge Hill University and in 2015 was awarded the MBE both for his commitment to the industry

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Sponsored By

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Headline partner - MediaCity
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Education partner - Access Industry
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Event Partner - Cascade
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Event Partner - Space Studios
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Sector Specialist - SODA (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Start: April 16, 2024 10:00 am
End: April 16, 2024 5:30 pm

Hosted at

Hot House - Open Centre, Media City

Media City UK, MediaCity UK, Salford, Arrive, UK

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