Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.
This week it’s the turn of Sally Joynson, Chief Executive, Screen Yorkshire.
The news these days is pretty depressing as every day seems to bring fresh tragedy and devastating loss. So it was particularly heartening to read that BBC Look North and ITV Calendar joined forces to remember Jo Cox as part of the Great Get Together. Events taking place up and down the country last week in memory of the late MP for Batley and Spen, brought together communities to celebrate their differences and their diversity. It was a great tribute to Jo Cox and proved that from terrible tragedy, positive things can happen.
As business holds its collective breath waiting for the outcome of Brexit negotiations begun this week, the media industry seems to flying in the face of uncertainty. According to Deloitte’s Media Metrics report, the sector has, in fact, continued to grow, generating £96bn in revenues for the UK and becoming a valued export market for the country.
The robustness of the creative sector echoes the successes of Yorkshire’s film and TV industries, which are the fastest growing in the UK, doubling the growth of any other UK region (including the South East). After some incredibly tough years for the industry on this side of the Pennines, it was welcome news and it is great to see that business is bouncing back. This research data was part of a five-year growth plan Screen Yorkshire has been developing, which – with the right investment from the public and private sector – will make the region a major hub for the screen industries in the UK. That will be good not just for the media industry, but will have a major impact on employment along the chain too.
Growth is clearly on the mind of Liverpool as well, as the city’s recently elected Metro Mayor stated that he was looking to review the city’s marketing to raise its ambition. Having a high profile spokesperson promoting the cause can reap huge rewards – just look at how this has worked for Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester.
Finally, on reading that Wirral-born Shirley Hughes is to be among five names who will each guest edit an edition of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, I was struck by how unusual it is to have northern experiences reflected at a national level, but how vital it is to encourage diversity and a plurality of voices.
I – for one – will be tuning in to listen to the perspectives of these amazing women.