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Two key appointments at new pan-Northern Screen Alliance North

Screen Alliance North has made two key appointments to take forward plans to build screen industry skills across the North of England

The new skills partnership has been created in a collaboration between Liverpool Film Office, North East Screen, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire and is supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding. It has now appointed a skills cluster partnership lead and a skills cluster evaluation manager.

Working closely with all four screen agencies, Penny Hall (main picture), the new skills cluster partnership lead, will support the development and delivery of an events programme and help to identify industry investment for priority activities. She will build key partnerships with screen industry employers and manage an advisory group to champion Screen Alliance North’s vision of making the industry more sustainable and improving good working practice.

Hall, who previously worked at Into Film, the UK’s leading charity for film in education said:

“I am delighted to work with the new partnership at such a crucial time for the screen industry in the North. There are many opportunities opening up for screen industry professionals and we want to build the skills base in the North quickly to fulfil the growing demand from production. Bridging the gap from training to industry is vital, as is ensuring the industry is more accessible than ever before.”

Cassandra White (above) fills the position of skills cluster evaluation manager and has a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector. She will be responsible for evaluating the wide range of activities delivered by Screen Alliance North, capturing data, tracking participant engagement and compiling case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of the work.

“I’ve had first-hand experience of the challenges and hurdles of finding work in the industry,” said White, who looked to get into script editing at the start of her career. “I will be using my writing skills and vast experience in the charity sector to highlight the successes of the programme telling the stories of the people we support and inspiring the next generation of TV and film industry professionals.”

In April 2023, Screen Alliance North was selected as the BFI Skills Cluster for the North of England and awarded £2.3m of BFI National Lottery funding to make the screen sector more accessible and representative, and to build a thriving and skilled workforce across the North of England.

The funding is enabling Screen Alliance North to work collaboratively with local industry, education and training providers to develop clearer pathways to long-term employment in film and TV production.

Caroline Cooper Charles, chief executive of Screen Yorkshire added: “The two appointments are crucial in establishing our partnership and driving our vision forward. Penny and Cassandra have the passion, motivation and experience to support, co-ordinate and champion skills activity across our combined area.

“We know we have the talent and ambition in the North of England and we want to open the door to the industry providing career opportunities for many from whatever background and walk of life. We are excited for what Screen Alliance North can achieve.”

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