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True North Productions establishes MediaCityUK base in partnership with Flix


True North Productions has done a deal with Flix Facilities, which will see the Leeds-based indie have a base at the Pie Factory.

It follows a period of enormous growth for the company, which was recently named the fastest growing indie outside of London – with revenues rocketing 65% in the last year.

However, managing director, Marc Allen, was keen to stress to Prolific North that this wouldn’t have any impact on Leeds:

“We have reached a critical mass in Leeds and were faced with the dilemma – do we add 10 new [edit] suites here? Do we get some in Manchester? Or do we share the risk and go in with someone else? Ultimately that’s what we decided to do.

“The mothership is still Leeds and we’ll continue to do our online work here.”

In fact, he added, Leeds would most likely be upscaled as well as a result of the move. The partnership means that True North now has 10 Avid suites at The Pie Factory as well as additional production space.

Flix Facilities is one of the most established post-production houses in Manchester and is itself experiencing a period of growth. Its team work out of 2 sites in the North West – MediaCityUK and Invicta House in Manchester city centre. In total it has 24 offline suites, 5 online ones and 4 dubbing theatres.

A deal has also been signed with storage specialists, GB Labs, which Allen described as “tech geeks who test systems to the point of destruction.” This was critical to the move, because it means that True North can have an expandable, 256 terabyte server mirrored in Leeds and Manchester.

“There were a number of reasons to do this. Firstly we can edit in Manchester and send the project files to Leeds for the onlining process; we can quickly arrange viewings for CBBC and others at MediaCityUK, even if the the programme is being edited in Leeds.

“And it gives us resilience. If something did go wrong at Leeds or Manchester, we can switch to the other location because all the data is mirrored.”

True North’s recent credits include Animal Frontline for BBC One, CBBC’s Junior Vets and Dick and Dom Go Wild. It’s also about to produce Compare Your Life for Channel 4 with a series of new commissions due to be announced shortly.

“It is a really exciting time for us. We’ve got everything specialist factual to structured reality, a really eclectic mix,” added Allen.

The company is one of the largest wholly independent production companies in the country and certainly the biggest outside London, with turnover expected to top £13m this year.

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