Category: Production

New multi-million pound production fund set to ignite North East screen industry

Posted on by North East Screen

On Tuesday in the heart of London, North East Screen was in the spotlight as it launched its multi-million pound Production Fund to a room full of screen industries movers and shakers. The fund is set to transform the North East and attract more production companies and filmmakers to film in the region hot on the heels of much anticipated studio development plans. 

North East talent and locations have starred on screens in recent years with major feature films such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves and 1917, as well as much loved TV drama Vera and children’s show The Dumping Ground, all choosing the North East to act as a backdrop.

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director at North East Screen said,

“We’ve got world class talent, exciting studio developments, an emerging infrastructure and now a Production Fund to supercharge the screen industry in the North East. We will attract more high-end TV productions, feature films and returning series to the region, providing more jobs and opportunities for regional and re-locating crew.”

Piloted in early 2023, the North East Production Fund has so far funded three very different productions: feature film JACKDAW from Tees Valley-born Director, Jamie Childs, and Anton Corp; unscripted children’s TV show, Cooking with the Gills, from Sunderland-based MCC Media, for Milkshake; and highly-anticipated drama, The Red King, from Quay Street Productions for UKTV.

Speaking of the support they have received from the Production Fund, Samantha McMillion, Chief Operating Officer at Quay Street Productions said,

“The support we have received from North East Screen through the Production Fund has been extraordinary. The team at North East Screen strive to work as a partner to production and have ensured that communication, and their approach, is collaborative throughout. Their team has been fantastic to work with and I would encourage other productions to seriously consider filming in the North East.

“Being able to provide jobs for local people, support trainees from the region and contribute to the continued growth of the industry in the North East is something we really value at Quay Street.”

Feature film JACKDAW is Tees Valley-born Jamie Childs’ directorial debut, shot in and around the area he grew up in. He said,

“I come from a northern colliery village and I’ve always wanted to make things here. The film shows off the North East in a very stylised and fictional way and allowed me and the great cast and crew to just have fun filming it.”

Delivered by regional screen agency, North East Screen, on behalf of the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP), the discretionary fund looks to support scripted and unscripted film and TV productions from both indigenous companies and incoming productions with grants being made between £50,000 up to £500,000. All applications are judged by an independent panel of industry experts following a rigorous application process.  

NESIP is the ambitious partnership of all 12 local and combined authorities across North East England investing in growing the screen industry, driving inward investment and creating local jobs. North East Screen is delivering this groundbreaking programme to grow a thriving screen ecosystem which includes a hands-on film office service and significant skills and talent support. In a tough economic environment the North East is both ready to invest in productions ready to shoot immediately, but also interested in having conversations about development opportunities which best showcase the talent and beauty of the region with even more funding opportunities on the horizon. Productions should complete an Expression of Interest at

We are hiring – come work for the North East Screen family!

Posted on by North East Screen

We are looking for two people to join us as Development Coordinator and Skills Coordinator and continue to develop and support the North East’s film and TV industry.

If you love film and TV, have solid admin skills, a creative eye and want to make an impact then the Development Coordinator role may be just right for you. You’ll be part of the Talent and Business Development team helping to support North East companies and talent to land opportunities and thrive.

There’ll be a number of administrative duties you’ll have to do and be first port of call for all development related enquiries, as well as assisting the wider team with events and content creation.

Apply now for the Development Coordinator role.

If you fancy helping people get work in film and TV and supporting them on their journey, then apply to be our Skills Coordinator? You will be part of the Film Office team, reporting to the Skills Manager.

Your role will see you support North East based crew and those looking to get into the industry, offering insights on work opportunities, and give our Crew Academy members support and advice that will lead to them landing that next role. You’ll also look after our Crew Academy database, ensuring it is up-to-date and explore ways to grow and maintain it.

Apply now for the Skills Coordinator role.

You have until Midnight, Sunday 8th October to apply.

24/7 Pet Hospital – New series starting 6th February on BBC One

Posted on by Victoria Glass

Expect drama, emotion and plenty of heart-warming moments as we follow the work of a close knit pet hospital team who devote their lives to saving animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With privileged access, viewers will bear witness to the staff’s highly specialised work as they tackle whatever comes their way in this new 10-part series.

Viewers will get to know the team from the Wear Referrals hospital in County Durham which, by day, is a specialist care unit treating animals with complex needs and conditions and by night transforms into an A&E unit responding to emergency cases from across the area.

The job always throws up surprises and staff can deal with anything from performing hip replacement surgery on tiny Shih Tzus and extracting corn on the cobs from boxer dogs to treating suspected kidney tumours on much-loved Labradors, wild owls injured by cars – and everything in between.

The series also follows the emotional pet owners who travel from far and wide with their beloved animals to get them life-saving care.

24/7 Pet Hospital has been produced for BBC One by Twenty Six 03, the Gateshead-based production company behind BBC Three series Angels of the North.

Commissioned by BBC Daytime and BBC England, this 10-part series starts on Monday 6 February at 10am.  

BBC invites North East locals to meet stars of upcoming 24/7 Pet Hospital series

Posted on by Victoria Glass

The BBC is inviting North East locals to meet the stars of its upcoming series 24/7 Pet Hospital – as well as bringing along their own furry friends – to a public event being held on Friday 3rd February.

Expect drama, emotion and plenty of heart-warming moments as viewers follow the work of Wear Referrals in County Durham as part of the 10-part series, whose close knit staff devote their lives to saving animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s a specialist care unit treating animals with complex needs and conditions by day and by night it transforms into an A&E unit responding to emergency cases from across the area.

The job always throws up surprises and staff can deal with anything from performing hip replacement surgery on tiny Shih Tzus and extracting corn on the cobs from boxer dogs to treating suspected kidney tumours on much-loved Labradors, wild owls injured by cars – and everything in between.

As well as informative talks from the 24/7 Pet Hospital’s highly specialised staff, Sherpa the guide dog, Alfie the Shih Tzu and Nugget the Labrador who all make their TV debuts in the brand new BBC series, will be attending the public event at Hardwick Country Park in Stockton-on-Tees between 9am and 2pm.

Labrador and golden retriever cross Sherpa is a 10 year old guide dog for owner Denise who’s had him for eight years. Calm but sometimes mischievous, he found himself at the pet hospital when a lump removal wound wouldn’t heal.

Alfie is six years old and owners Christine and Glen have had him since he was eight weeks. He’s laidback, inquisitive and nothing phases him. Their local vet referred them to Wear when Alfie’s hip popped out of its socket whilst on a walk. Surgeon Maciej performed a hip replacement, which was the second major surgery he’d done on Alfie.

Labrador Nugget is seven years old and has lived with Walter, 87 all his life. He originally belonged to Walter’s daughter, who sadly passed away last year. Nugget loves walks and is a docile dog who will go up to others and say hello, even if he doesn’t get a very nice response! He found himself at Wear after scans showed abnormalities on one of his kidneys.

Helen Munson, BBC Daytime Commissioning Editor, said: “I can’t wait for our viewers to meet the staff and patients at the Pet Hospital. Get ready for some heart-warming telly as we look at the incredible expertise and loving care that goes into making our beloved pets well again.”

Antonia Hurford-Jones and Duncan Gray, Twenty Six 03 Executive Producers, said: “We’re excited to give people the chance to meet the Wear team and some of the stars of the show.”

24/7 Pet Hospital has been produced for BBC One by Twenty Six 03, the Gateshead-based production company behind BBC Three series Angels of the North.

Commissioned by BBC Daytime and BBC England, this 10-part series starts on Monday 6 February at 10am.  

The North East is declared Filming Friendly

Posted on by North East Screen

North East Screen, the regions screen agency, announces today that all 12 local authorities across the North East have signed up to their Filming Friendly Charter declaring the region officially Filming Friendly for TV and Film production. 

As production is increasing in the region, thanks to the investment and commitment of the BBC and the new North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP), the opportunity of attracting production companies to film in the region has never been greater.

The Charter, signed by the Chief Executive and Leader of each local authority and Chief Executive of North East Screen, Alison Gwynn, ensures each local authority works closely with North East Screen, assists productions through one point of contact and continues to align their processes and contacts to facilitate filming across all parts of the North East.

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director of North East Screen said;

“We’ve proved that big blockbusters such as Indiana Jones and Dungeons and Dragons are attracted to our region and in 2022 we had a record number of BBC programmes filming in the area but we want to see more – more feature films, more TV dramas, more documentaries, more returning series, more factual programmes.

We need to make sure the filming process is as efficient and straight forward as it can be so having the support and readiness of each local council to facilitate and understand the process will help us to achieve this.”

Katie Strachan, Film Office Manager at North East Screen said; 

“The economic benefits of production companies filming in our region can’t be underestimated. Productions are not only supported by our local authorities and local crew, but they also require a strong network of local businesses and facilities – from caterers to couriers, accommodation to security there are many services that can support the success of a production, and in turn benefit local business. By attracting more productions to the region, we not only want to grow the industry but encourage more businesses to support these productions and add value to our local economy.”

Gayle continued;

“We are delighted to be fully supported by the local authorities and combined authorities. We have the locations, the talent and the facilities and now this commitment will make us an even more attractive region to film in. ”


Lights, Camera, Gateshead

Posted on by Victoria Glass

Council chief executive Sheena Ramsey and Council Leader Martin Gannon, have signed a Filming Friendly Charter on behalf of the local authority with North East Screen – who are developing and championing North East England as a UK-leading film and TV production hub, where industry talent can live, create and work.

In signing the charter Gateshead Council recognises the positive economic and cultural benefits that hosting filming activity can have on the locality. In recent months Gateshead based production company Twenty Six 03 celebrated the broadcast of season 4 of Angels of the North and Signpost Productions produced Robson Green’s ‘Weekend Escapes’ to name just a few successes.

Gateshead has wonderful assets which compliment the regional screen industry, including PROTO’s Advanced Media Production Studio that offers a unique combination of technologies – Virtual Production, Motion Capture, Photogrammetry, 5G Private Networks and XR equipment that enables hands-on experimentation, training and skills development to address gaps that exist today in the creative industry.

The studio includes large LED volume and enhanced motion tracking capabilities will allow creative and digital companies to design and develop new content and experiences. PROTO will also be connected by a 10gbps private network with Target3D studio in London, a unique 5G connected research and innovation offer which bridges the gap between digital and physical.

Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council, said 

“Through signing the filming friendly charter, I am committing Gateshead to play its role in collaboration with the region to grow the screen sector. This is an opportunity for us to showcase the talent we have here in Gateshead but also the region. The creative talent is not just limited to the traditional roles we associate with the screen industry, but we also need skills such as joiners, electricians, caterers and hospitality.”

“By committing to the charter, we recognise the economic benefit that the sector can bring to Gateshead and the region, through attracting productions. We want the region to be recognised as a centre of excellence. We want to develop our own talent but also attract talent into the region across all aspects of screen production.”

Sheena Ramsey, Chief Executive of Gateshead Council, said:

“The Filming Friendly Charter is a fantastic opportunity for the North East to showcase all the hidden gems we have up here, including the amazing technology we have here in Gateshead at PROTO. The filming friendly charter brings a real opportunity for residents from across the region to thrive. I’m delighted that we are a part of the wider regional approach to creating a thriving screen sector that will benefit a whole host of different businesses and individuals. The sector is already proving to be an economic driver for Gateshead with companies relocating successful production companies to Gateshead from the south.” 

Duncan Gray, Founder of Twenty Six 03, said:

“In 2020, when we were filming Angels of the North, we discovered that Gateshead was an exciting place to run a creative business. At this point we were filming season 2 of Angels and decided to look at relocating our head offices from Brighton to the North East. As a region it is culturally rich and has a whole host of stories we can tell on TV. 

“During filming of Angels of the North we found Gateshead Council to be incredibly proactive, helpful and receptive to filming in the borough.

“Gateshead Council has a tradition of supporting creative enterprise and has shown itself to be forward thinking in ensuring that creative businesses have a place where they can succeed. When it came to establishing a formal head office in the North East it felt right to us that we came to Gateshead.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said:

“We are working closely with the North East Screen Industries Partnership and the BBC to encourage and promote filming across the North East. We want all parts of our region to benefit. It is important that each local authority area is committed to welcoming production crews and making the process of filming as smooth as can be. North East Screen will support them to do this. 

“The economic and tourism benefits of a production filming in our area and the jobs it can create for local crew, as well as local businesses across the supply chain, is something we don’t want any part of the North East to miss out on. We are delighted that Gateshead have signed up to the charter and look forward to working with them to encourage more filming in the borough.”

New C5 cooking show launches, produced by regional based MCC Media

Posted on by North East Screen
Amazing young chefs show pop star how to cook in brand new kids TV series Cooking with the Gills.

MCC Media, the Sunderland-based TV production company has been travelling to all four corners of the UK to record some of the country’s budding young chefs in this new 25-part series.

The series follows popular presenter, farmer and JLS star JB Gill and his family as they reach out to talented young cooks from all over the UK to ask for help in how to prepare and cook a wide range of delicious recipes from around the world. The Gills [Dad JB, Mum Chloe, Ace (7) & Chiara (4)] cook along and then serve local families and friends from their rural pop-up kitchen & café. Together we learn the importance of where food comes from and how to cook it!

Each 12-minute episode showcases a young child (aged 6-9) demonstrating for The Gills how to cook their ‘Dish of the Day’ from their home kitchen, whilst JB and family cook along from their farm kitchen. From Thai Green Curry and Vegan Burgers, to Blueberry Cheesecake and Shakshuka, the kids take the lead on this cooking adventure.

Executive Producer Paul McCoy said;
“It’s amazing to see how passionate kids can be about cooking fresh food from scratch and it’s been a great opportunity to capture just a pinch of this.”

The project was made possible by the help and support from Channel 5’s preschool strand, Milkshake! and North East Screen who have been a great advocate from day one.

“We’re thrilled to be premiering Cooking with the Gills and welcoming JB and his family to Milkshake! this Saturday,” said Louise Bucknole, General Manager, Kids & Family UK & Ireland at Paramount.

“Cooking and learning about where ingredients come from is really popular amongst our viewers and this new commission aims to celebrate a diverse range of recipes from across the world, while encouraging children and their families to take a more active role in preparing and cooking simple and healthy meals together.”

Alison Gwynn Chief Executive North East Screen said;
“It’s great to support regional companies with Big Ideas which in turn helps the production community flourish within the region.  We are so excited to be involved and provide funding in MCC’s latest TV Project”.

David Kangas serves as Series Producer and Director for MCC Media. David Mordey is Head of Production. MCC Media are building on this success with many exciting new projects currently in development.

Notes for Editors

Broadcast dates and details

The series starts on the 8th of October at 9:40am and goes out every Saturday and Sunday on Milkshake! which is on Channel 5 until Christmas. Also available on catch up on My5.

MCC Media is an award winning Production Company based in the North East of England specialising in ambitious and entertaining children’s TV. Our creative team are fast gaining a reputation for ground breaking ideas and fresh, imaginative approaches to helping young audiences explore the world in different ways.

Channel 5’s Milkshake! is home to some of the world’s favourite pre-school characters. Channel 5 broadcasts 24 hours of children’s programmes every week and is the top-rated commercial block for 4-15 year old kids. Milkshake! features a range of stimulating, diverse and engaging programmes that include strong character-led animation, live action series, factual entertainment and presenter-led high-quality studio and musical content. Milkshake! is also available non-stop via on-demand service My5, Paramount +, a magazine and a touring Milkshake! Live theatre show.