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New census to help grow Yorkshire film industry


A new census is being carried out to form a clear picture of the size of Yorkshire’s film sector.

Carried out by the Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN) at the University of York, researchers plan to gather data on how many people are employed and in what roles.

The conclusions will inform planning for future growth in the county.

A separate workforce survey aimed at employers and freelancers is running in parallel to the census to collect more information about the profile of the workforce and its diversity.

“Knowing the size of the industry is vital to ensuring that the region attracts investment and competes effectively with other parts of the UK,” said Kate O’Connor, Industry Partnerships Director at SIGN.

“The data being collected from the census is fundamental to building the case to unlock economic support and to grow the industry in a way that is both sustainable and inclusive.”

O’Connor added that it was “not research for research’s sake.”

“… it’s absolutely fundamental to find out exactly what the industry looks like at a regional level so that we can track growth and employment levels, including the impact of major new developments,” she continued.

“There has been so much happening at a regional level, from the increase in film and TV production and the development of strong games, animation and immersive content companies. But we don’t know enough about the size of our companies or the profile of our workforce and until we do, we can’t possibly know what we need to do to correct the lack of diversity and access to the industry. We are asking for employers and business owners to spare just a couple of minutes of their time to help us build an accurate picture of the screen industries here in Yorkshire.”

Researchers are seeking input from broadcasters, industry bodies, production companies, and screen content creators working within film, TV, games, and digital.

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