Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and North East Screen are announcing today that they have joined forces as a BFI Skills Cluster and awarded BFI National Lottery Funding to make the sector more accessible and representative and to build a skilled workforce across the whole of the North of England.

The BFI announced yesterday an initial roll out of £8.1m has been awarded to partners across the UK to support the Screen Production Workforce through Skills Clusters. This will enable lead organisations to work collaboratively with local industry, education and training providers to develop clearer pathways to long-term employment in film and TV production.

Sara Whybrew, Head of National Lottery Skills Programmes at the BFI, said:

“The North of England has a world leading cultural offer and a rich history that the screen sector is a vital part of.  The unified approach being taken by Screen Alliance North to developing and supporting a greater diversity of local talent to enter the screen workforce speaks to the impressive leadership of the Alliance.  The BFI is delighted to be supporting their ambitions with National Lottery funding and I look forward to meeting many of the beneficiaries they’ll support over the coming months and years.”

The four Northern screen agencies are partnering as Screen Alliance North to support each other and to leverage additional local funding and support to maximise the impact of the £2.3m funding awarded to the region following a BFI Skills Review.  The Alliance is one of six clusters across the UK who have received funding for three years.

The BFI Skills Clusters investment aims to strike a balance between building on existing production infrastructure to provide new entrance and development opportunities in the most established areas of activity, while also helping to grow local crew bases in more emergent areas.

The funding focusses on establishing localised support for skills development and training with a clear aim to create new opportunities for people from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in the sector.

Caroline Cooper-Charles, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire said:

“Screen Alliance North will build a thriving screen workforce in the North of England that will reflect our diverse, talented and ambitious communities, our dynamic culture and rich heritage and will drive development so that we become a beacon of sustainable screen production.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive at North East Screen said:

“We believe in a screen sector where access to opportunity is the norm and outdated preconceptions are banished. Whatever your background or wherever you live, we see a future for those with the ambition of working in the sector.”

Lynn Saunders, Chief Executive at Liverpool Film Office said:

“We are a uniquely northern partnership, grounded in a national context with sights set internationally. As we work closely with the screen industries and regional authorities, we can connect industry knowledge, opportunities and partnerships so that we can help boost regional economy and employment.”

Rob Page, Managing Director of Screen Manchester said:

“The scale of our footprint across the whole of the North of England will give us the opportunity to identify the skills needed, to reach out to new entrants from a range of backgrounds to support their journeys and steer decision-makers and providers towards sustainable skills provision.

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