The North East film and television industry is on the verge of securing a £36million boost.
The North East Screen Industries Partnership, which is made up of Local Authorities and Combined Authorities across the North East and Tees Valley, are about to sign off an £11.5m investment, which would in turn unlock the BBC’s previously announced £25m pledge to the North East.
This will lead to the establishment of a Screen Industries Development programme in partnership with the BBC.
Outlined in the 5 year plan, the region’s screen agency, Northern Film + Media will be rebranded as NE Screen and be “scaled up” to increase filming activity. There will also be a production development and support fund, to develop businesses and skills.
Councils in Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland will sign off their commitments at Cabinet meetings, with the North of Tyne Combined Authority approving the investment of Newcastle City, North Tyneside and Northumberland Councils.
The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority has allocated £4.75m of investment on behalf of the five authorities of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
“The North East and Tees Valley is rich with creative talent, and we’re committed to maximising that – in partnership with the BBC – and creating more and better opportunities for our businesses and residents. We believe this will be a catalyst for further investment from other screen industries and broadcasters, and will make the North East a magnet destination for talented people who want to build a career,” said North East Screen Industries Partnership in a statement.
“Combined with the £25m pledge made by the BBC, this funding will allow us to develop and nurture the existing industry and help create the jobs of the future, ensuring that people who live, study and work in the region can build a meaningful career in film and media here. This represents the BBC’s most significant investment in creative and film industries in the North East of England in decades, and we’re delighted to be working in partnership to ensure that we grasp this opportunity and grow a vibrant industry in this region.”
The aim is to attract more inward investment; creating jobs and retaining talent; and increasing filming across the region.
“It is fantastic that all Local Authorities are coming together to support the creative sector in the North East and co-invest in the BBC partnership,” said Helen Blenkinsop, Head of Commissioning Supply, BBC Content.
“We look forward to working with them and with Northern Film + Media to grow the content, companies, and skills in the region to underpin the partnership’s success.”