Author: Jo Macleod

The North East’s much loved Vera to end after season 14

Posted on by Jo Macleod

ITV has today announced that much loved North East drama series, Vera, will come to an end after its next season (14).

Despite the sad news today that this will be the final season of the much-loved Vera series, North East Screen is keen to celebrate what the team at Silverprint and ITV has accomplished across its 13 seasons, soon to be 14. From award nominations to ratings successes both in the UK and abroad; Vera has been an integral part of the growth of the screen industries in the North East. The impact the series has had not just on the North East screen sector, but on our region as a whole, is a true testament to everyone working on the show and at ITV to bring Ann Cleeve’s story of DCI Vera Stanhope to life.

Vera will bow out at a time when production has tripled in the region with 12 productions already confirmed to be filming in 2024 and the North East Production Fund setting its sights firmly on attracting a high-end returning drama series. North East Screen’s Film Office is currently supporting the production team at Silverprint with their production needs as they begin to film season 14. We are sure this final season will be another incredible hit with viewers across the globe.

A new series of the beloved TV classic, Byker, in development with Fulwell 73 and Mitre Studios 

Posted on by Jo Macleod

17 years after Byker Grove closed its doors for the last time, the North East based TV classic is set to make a comeback. Emmy award winning entertainment company, Fulwell 73, the team behind Friends: The Reunion, The Kardashians and Gavin and Stacey: Christmas Special, and Ant and Dec’s Mitre Studios, who co-produce BAFTA-award winning Saturday Night Takeaway, DNA Journey and Limitless Win, announced they are entering into a development period to relaunch the celebrated show, which will be entitled BYKER, and will be filmed and produced in and around the North East. 

Originally broadcast between 1989 – 2006, Byker Grove became a household favourite as it told the story of a youth club in Newcastle. Celebrated for its handling of hard hitting and controversial storylines, the programme ran for 18 series and launched many famous faces both in front of and behind the camera, including Ant and Dec themselves as fun-loving duo ‘PJ & Duncan’. 

Now the reboot, aimed at a primetime audience, will return as BYKER, engaging with a new generation of teenagers navigating the different challenges faced by young adults today. Touching on youth and adult storylines, the series will serve a cross generational audience including stories for a nostalgic audience of past fans as well as teenagers today, all set against the backdrop of Newcastle and the North East. 

Fulwell 73’s Leo Pearlman and Heather Greenwood will serve as Executive Producers with Ant McPartlin & Declan Donnelly as Executive Producers and Creative Consultants for Mitre Studios.


Leo Pearlman, Co-founder & Managing Partner at Fulwell 73 said:

“Working in collaboration is vital to the North East’s success. Partnering through our Sunderland office with Ant and Dec’s company Mitre Studios, an unlikely and yet dream team of Mackems and Geordies, to bring back a series starring and made by local people, is something we’re incredibly proud of at Fulwell 73. We can’t wait to share BYKER with new and old fans alike, showcasing the very best of our region to the world as part of our long-term commitment to a sustainable industry in the North East.” 

Declan Donnelly said:

“Byker Grove will always be very special to us as the show which gave us our break, so we are beyond excited to be working together with Fulwell 73 on bringing it back. We are looking forward to bringing this fresh incarnation to a whole new generation as well as those who remember it as fondly as we do.  

As proud Geordies, we’re looking forward to help shine a spotlight on the North East and the talent the region has to offer both in front of the camera and behind it.” 

Ant McPartlin said: 

“We owe such a lot to Byker Grove and the North East so we can’t wait to start working with Fulwell 73 and the team to bring this iconic series back to life. The original series was the starting point for a lot of North East talent so we’re excited to see what the new team will bring.” 

Mitre Studios said:

“We’re delighted that Mitre Studios and Fulwell 73 are joining forces to bring Byker back to life. The show obviously holds a very special place in the heart for Ant and Dec as it was where it all started for them. The North East is a hotbed of emerging talent both on and off screen, so we’re extremely proud to be able to tap into that and help give something back to the region.” 

Speaking of the news that BYKER will be rebooting, North East Screen Chief Executive, Alison Gwynn said:

“Byker Grove was such an iconic North East TV show and I’m delighted to see Fulwell 73 and Mitre Studios announce that they are developing the reboot. We are looking forward to working with them to bring their vision to life, and the opportunities it will bring for those already working in the North East screen industries, and those looking to get into the industry.”

Behind the scenes, BYKER will aim to be a returnable series providing sustainable training both in front and behind the camera, including new talent in a North East focused writers’ room and work placements. Fulwell 73 and Mitre Studios will unite to film across Newcastle and Sunderland as part of both companies’ commitment to their home region and North East based production offices. Ant and Dec will also look to integrate their successful Prince’s Trust, Making it in Media course as part of the production to help give experience and confidence to young people in the North East who are looking to pursue a career in the media. 

North East Screen and Pact launch Future North East

Posted on by Jo Macleod

North East Screen and Pact are today launching a joint initiative Future North East at this year’s Creative Cities Convention in Newcastle.

Future North East is based on Pact’s successful Future30 scheme – which launched in 2021 as part of its 30th anniversary celebrations – and is designed to identify promising indies in the North East and help them develop into global businesses.

The two-year scheme is open to both members and non-members of Pact based in the North East, and benefits include two years’ free Pact membership and a supercharged, tailored development programme giving participants access to industry experts to help them to develop and grow their businesses.

While speaking at the Creative Cities Convention in Newcastle, North East Screen Chairman, David Parfitt, announced the launch of the scheme and asked indies to get in touch with the North East Screen Talent and Business Development team to register their interest.

Applications will open on 5th May and indies will be invited to submit a video pitch to be judged by a panel of experienced producers and experts, with the winners unveiled at the end of May with the first bootcamp taking place in June.

For further information and to register interest, companies are invited to email:

Commenting on the launch of the scheme, David Parfitt, said:

“We have a developing network of indies here in the North East, and are delighted to be launching Future North East with Pact.

“This presents a unique opportunity for North East indies to benefit from the deep knowledge of leading industry experts to help prepare them for global business opportunities.”

Pact’s Managing Director of Business Development & Global Strategy Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE said:

“Following the success of Pact’s Future30 scheme over the past two years, we are delighted to be able to roll this out in the North East in partnership with North East Screen.

“The North East has a wealth of talent and we look forward to working with the selected indies to help them grow their businesses.”

For more information about the Future North East scheme, eligibility criteria, timescales and how to apply, please visit our project page.

Screen Alliance North are hiring – Skills Cluster roles

Posted on by Jo Macleod

Screen Alliance North, a new £2.3m BFI Skills Cluster led by Screen Yorkshire, Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and North East Screen, is recruiting for two new full-time roles, to support development and training of the screen sector workforce across the North of England.

Skills Cluster Partnership Lead – £47,000 – £49,000

Skills Cluster Evaluation Manager – £42,000 – £44,000

These roles are full time (37 hours per week) and a three year fixed term contract. They can be based at any of the partner offices in Sunderland, Hartlepool, Manchester, Liverpool or Leeds and will see work across all of the partner regions.

For more information on the jobs and how to apply, please visit our careers page.

Applications close on Wednesday 24th May.