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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 Victoria Glass

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. ”

Ends

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.”

Showreel Tender for Creative Cities Convention

Posted on by North East Screen
We are looking for a North East based company to create a showcase video for us to highlight the growth of the screen industry in the North East. Could this be you?

The Creative Cities Convention (CCC) is coming to Newcastle in April 2023 and we are looking for someone to produce an opening video, showcasing to the delegates from across the UK the incredible growth of the sector in the North East.

The CCC will take place on the 26th and 27th of April at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle with complementary activity taking place around the region. The convention is a unique meeting place where content creators working outside London can network together and discuss the big media issues that affect them every day. The event is supported by the BBC, ITV, C4, C5 and Pact.

If you are interested in the opportunity to create content that will be seen by broadcasters, commissioners, UK based production companies and film and TV production professionals, then click here to download the full brief.

All pitches should include:

  • Brief introduction to the agency
  • Examples of previous work – preferably showing your understanding of our audience
  • Proposed cost for project

The outcome of the tender process will be a two-month project starting in February and will result in a high-profile showcase of the final videos.
Please send your application to communications@northeastscreen.org by the 9th of February. Interviews for the opportunity will be conducted week commencing the 13th of February and the project will start on the 17th.

National media conference to be held in the North East in 2023

Posted on by North East Screen

The popular screen sector conference Creative Cities Convention will be held in the North East of England from the 26th to 27th of April, with a packed schedule of sessions and activities reflecting the boom in film, tv and digital production that’s underway across the UK.

The Creative Cities Convention (CCC) is a unique meeting place where content creators working outside London can network together and discuss the big media issues that affect them every day.

The event will take place at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle, less than five minutes’ walk from the central station and an iconic building that started life in the 1820s as the home of Robert Stephenson and Company, the world’s first locomotive works. This beautiful, listed building has ample room for the main conference of over 300 delegates along with meet-the-commissioner sessions and a marketplace for different organisations to showcase their activities, topped off with a lively evening networking party. 

There will be student masterclasses and sessions in other parts of the wider North East too, where production is soaring as the region scales up to meet record investment from organisations like the BBC, local authorities and independent companies.

The CCC team will be working in partnership with North East Screen to deliver the conference and with the North of Tyne, South of Tyne and Tess Valley Combined Authorities, who have together formed the North East Screen Industries Partnership to rise to the challenge of growing production across all genres. 

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen says ‘We are delighted to welcome the Creative Cities Convention to our region at a time when production is increasing, partnerships are strengthening and growth in the sector is becoming a reality. To be hosting a convention of this scale and stature in the North East, which attracts content creators from all parts of the UK, is a real honour and an opportunity and we can’t wait to be involved and showcase the North East as a hotbed of creativity and talent.’

‘We could not be more thrilled to take our event to the North East in 2023,’ says conference director Ruth Pitt. ‘The screen sector is growing rapidly there, and the venue is accessible to content creators from right across the UK, whether you’re in Glasgow or Belfast, Manchester or Cardiff, Brighton or Bristol. We’re extending our sessions to offer even better takeout for everyone so it’s an event not to be missed’.

Last year’s conference was a sellout success at the Fazeley Studios in Birmingham, a return to normal after two years of pandemic disruption. This year the event will be extended to offer a full afternoon of sessions and a networking party on Day One and then another full day of debate and discussion on Day Two. BBC Newsnight journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark will return as host.

As the Creative Cities Convention celebrates its fifth birthday in 2023 there will be something of value for producers, freelances, broadcasters, streamers and students alike. 

BBC Comedy announces brand new supercharged bursary and grant schemes

Posted on by North East Screen

BBC Comedy today (Monday 19 December) announces two brand new opportunities for comedy talent as the BBC Comedy Collective and BBC Comedy Grants are launched.

The BBC Comedy Collective has been established as a supercharged bursary scheme which will continue to celebrate the work of writers, Felix Dexter, Caroline Aherne and Galton & Simpson, plus new producer and director representatives, Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon by offering 10 places to the next generation of writers, producers and directors who would like to develop their careers in scripted comedy.

BBC Comedy will be building on the great work that the individual writing bursaries have done to date, by bringing everyone together and adding in producers and directors to form this bursary supergroup of experience in a format that allows BBC Comedy to offer more opportunity, more places, more finance, more activity and more access to an instant network of comedy experts.

The BBC Comedy Collective comprises of estate representatives, Geoff Schuman & Paul Whitehouse (for Felix Dexter), Tessa La Bars and the Galton Family (for Galton & Simpson), Lucy Ansbro (for Caroline Aherne) plus the new producer and director representatives, Ash Atalla and Christine Gernon, alongside the alumni of previous BBC bursary winners.

This is not an entry level opportunity but will be open to anyone who has had at least one previous credit in writing, producing or directing in any genre, across any platform – such as radio, theatre, podcasts, stand up or commercials. Applicants will also need to be able to demonstrate a strong passion for and commitment to comedy.

Each bursary winner will receive up to £10,000 worth of paid shadowing on a BBC Comedy production, along with an allocated production mentor, plus a £5,000 development grant to put towards new material at the end of the placement. They will also have a dedicated point of contact within the BBC Comedy Commissioning team who will help guide them through their year, as well as access to the Comedy Collective representatives.

The bursary winners will have their expenses covered to attend up to three BBC comedy events over their year on the scheme. Events next year will include the BBC Comedy Festival taking place in Cardiff in May 2023, plus short film and networking evenings across the UK, with other events to be announced in due course.

Successful applicants will also receive exclusive access to bespoke training and personal development opportunities provided by the BBC Academy, plus access to BAFTA’s tailored programme of learning and career development activity for new entrants and emerging talent.

The BBC Comedy Collective will be working in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, with the support of BBC Writersroom, BBC History, BBC Academy, BAFTA and a range of screen agencies including North East Screen and Creative Wales. Within the 10 places, at least 1 will be guaranteed for an individual based in Scotland, 1 in Northern Ireland, 1 in Wales and 1 in Newcastle (the 2022 City of Comedy) and BBC Comedy will actively be encouraging applications from individuals from diverse and underrepresented groups.

BBC Comedy will be looking forward to welcoming the next generation of up-and-coming comedy talent from across the UK into the BBC Comedy Collective – Class of 23.  Previous BBC Comedy bursary winners have gone on to win script commissions, get agents, produce radio shows and make a BAFTA award-winning TV series.

Alongside the bursary, also confirmed today is a brand-new BBC Comedy Grants scheme which is an opportunity to increase BBC Comedy’s engagement with companies, organisations and communities from across the UK who want to support growth and access opportunity in comedy. The grants are aimed at small organisations, groups, charities or projects which are doing targeted comedy outreach across the UK. The grants are not for individuals to develop a project, or production companies developing ideas, but exclusively for outreach and inclusion activity with comedy. There will be 10 grants of £5k available, and applications will open on Monday 9th January.

Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC said: “BBC Comedy is renowned worldwide for finding and nurturing some of the most brilliant writers and performers working in television and film today. The BBC Comedy Collective is a commitment to help ensure this remains the case and cast the net wider to include off screen talent such as directors and producers, who are often the unsung heroes of our most cherished shows.”

Tessa Le Bars & the Galton family on behalf of Galton & Simpson said: “Galton & Simpson Estates are delighted to be part of the expanded BBC Comedy Collective now being offered from 2023, following on the great work started by the original Galton and Simpson Writers Bursary in 2020, This new suite of bursaries will provide a back to front coverage of comedy production and we hope will deliver some exciting new works  next year and beyond to ensure the continuation of the great British sit-com genre started by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson way back in the 1950s.”

Geoff Schuman on behalf of Felix Dexter said “The BBC continues to be a fantastic creative partner in continuing the legacy of several famous comedians who have sadly passed away. They have been magnificent in their efforts to supporting the works of Felix Dexter and ensuring that his abilities will be remembered for generations. The BBC remains as one of the leading creative outlets for championing equality and diversity….Long may this continue.”

Paul Whitehouse on behalf of Felix Dexter said: “The BBC is the natural home of comedy along with much else in broadcasting. But certainly it is a “brand leader” in terms of comedy. So many shows that mean so much to us would not have been created without the beeb. It continues to develop and nurture new talent and one of the more novel ways is through the bursary system.”

Lucy Ansbro on behalf of Caroline Aherne: “Caroline Aherne’s Estate is honoured to stand alongside the powerhouse of creative talents that forms the new BBC Comedy Collective. The Corporation has always been front and centre when it comes to nurturing comedy talent from all walks of life and long may it continue. The Caroline Aherne Bursary was established by the BBC to foster a new generation of female performers in the North, so to be part of the expansion project means even more opportunity for those who reflect modern Britain to be heard.”

Ash Atalla said: “When the BBC asked me to be the producer representative, I laughed. What could a 6 times BAFTA winner be able to teach anyone? They talked me round and Im now genuinely delighted to part of the Comedy Top Gun Academy. I look forward to working with the best of the best”

Christine Gernon said: “The BBC is perhaps the greatest of our institutions and its history of nurturing and growing world class players is unrivalled.  This scheme offers so much for the future of our industry and I’m delighted and honoured to be contributing. I owe my career to the BBC who recognised, trained and guided me so it’s a privilege to work alongside the BBC comedy team recognising, training and guiding the next generation of Comedy directors.”

Emma Lawson, Commissioning Editor, BBC Comedy and Initiative Lead said: “Having partaken in a scheme like this myself I know how important and transformative they are to people making their way in the industry. They are also incredibly important to us as broadcasters to make sure we have exciting pathways that allow us to forge relationships with the best up-and-coming comedy talent from around the country, to ensure we have the best people in our stable so we’re able to continue the BBC legacy of producing the best, globally renowned, comedy programming out there.”

More information on the scheme and how to apply will be available via https://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/comedy/  and applications open on Monday 9th January 2023.

Leaders sign pledge to help boost filming in the region

Posted on by North East Screen

Tees Valley leaders have signed up to an initiative to boost the TV and film industry by making it even easier to shoot projects in the region.

The Filming Friendly Charter has been backed by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and the Combined Authority Cabinet, made up of the five Local Authority leaders.

This demonstrates their commitment to make the region filming friendly, recognising the positive economic and cultural benefits filming has here, and to maximise these benefits. In practice, being a filming friendly region includes ensuring a single point of contact for production companies, building a network within and across our Local Authorities of those impacted by filming, facilitating use of councils’ properties and working to amplify publicity.

The Filming Friendly Charter is part of the £11.4million North East Screen Industries Partnership, backed by £4.5million of investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, which is being delivered by North East Screen.

The partnership was established to capitalise on the BBC’s huge commitment to invest £25million in the region to help fund TV production and talent development across the region’s creative sectors.

A total of 14 projects have recently been shot in the Tees Valley, including Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes, Vera series 12, a James Arthur documentary titled My Home Town, Northern Justice and more.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We’ve invested millions to support the wealth of talent on our doorstep in the TV and film industry, but to really make the most of the opportunities the sector presents, we need a joined-up approach across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“This agreement will put in place building blocks so we become an even more attractive area to film in, working together to mark us out as an efficient, welcoming and dedicated partner to large-scale production companies, the BBC and independent outfits.

“This, in turn, will get more projects off the ground here, benefitting not just our creatives, but everyone involved in TV and film – from our writers and directors to our camera operators, electricians, engineers and make-up artists.”

Cllr Shane Moore, Combined Authority Cabinet Lead for Culture and Tourism and Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The Tees Valley is a diverse area with locations to suit any production, and we have the local expertise in organisations such as Hartlepool’s Northern Studios to back up our fantastic landscapes.

“With this charter, we can become more than the sum of our parts and work with North East Screen to deliver the positive change for the sector and its workers that we all want to see.”

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 welcome production crews and make 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 the Tees Valley has signed up to the charter and look forward to working with them to encourage more filming in the region.”

Robson Green’s North-East Weekend Escapes comes to BBC Two and iPlayer

Posted on by North East Screen

This new BBC series will see Robson, along with family and some famous friends, taking the roads less travelled and appreciating a slower pace of life

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes is the perfect way to chase away the winter blues. Set in the North-East, against the backdrop of some of the UK’s most stunning scenery, this new BBC series will see Robson, along with family and some famous friends, taking the roads less travelled and appreciating a slower pace of life. It will be coming to screens on BBC Two and iPlayer in January.

The series will host an impressive roster of on-screen talent and Robson’s friends, including: Jill Scott (European Champion former England footballer & BBC Sounds host Jill Scott’s Coffee Club), Former Dragon and Businesswoman Sara Davies, journalist and presenter Steph McGovern, hit podcaster and talk show co-host Rosie Ramsey (The Chris and Rosie Ramsey Show), Les Ferdinand (Former footballer) and Lee Ridley (AKA Lost Voice Guy) plus many more.

Taking viewers into the heart of the North-East, the programme will showcase the region’s natural beauty and the important role it plays in relieving stress and supporting our mental health. Across the series we will see Robson journey on an old steam train, spend a night in a hammock, sketch with local artists, and cycle along the coast and castle route, which stretches from Newcastle to Edinburgh. Throughout the series, Robson and his friends explore the importance of slowing down, leaving the noise of our cities, creating memories, and relaxing.

Robson Green, Director at North-East based Rivers Meet Productions, says: “I’m thrilled to be starring in and co-producing this fantastic new series for BBC Two. The North-East holds a special place in my heart and I’m excited to showcase the best it has to offer. We are strongly committed to supporting the incredible local talent in this beautiful region, and creating this programme gave us the opportunity to do both.”

BBC Commissioning Editor, Helen Munson, says: “I’m delighted to be working with Robson and the team on this joyful new show which showcases brilliant talent, both off screen and on screen, against the backdrop of the beautiful North East coastline and countryside. Robson is a fantastic ambassador for the North-East and is a firm-favourite with our audiences.”

Gareth Deighan Creative Director at Signpost says: “It’s fantastic to bring this series with Robson Green to viewers, it does a great job in highlighting the best of the North-east region.”

The BBC is making a significant investment to grow and nurture talent and content-making across the UK. This new commission will play a key role in the BBC’s wider regional focus, and supports its commitment to spend £25m in the North-East over the next five years.

Watch Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from Monday, 23 January 2023 at 6.30pm.

Riverside proves picture-perfect for region’s screen agency

Posted on by North East Screen

An organisation set up to grow the North East’s TV and film industries is moving to a new head office as it looks to unearth ‘the next Vera’.

North East Screen, a £37 million project supported by combined and local authorities from across the region, is relocating to The Beam at Riverside Sunderland.

The move will put the organisation at the heart of the region as it looks to create ‘vibrant industry sector communities’ and ‘develop the skills required to turn it into a centre of excellence for the screen industries.’

This includes ensuring new entrants to the industry have the skills to access work opportunities, making it easier for production companies to film in the region and raising the region’s global profile.

Supported by 12 local authorities and the BBC, North East Screen is part of the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) which was formed to level up the regional film and TV industries by more than doubling its 2019 share of the UK production market and delivering an annual economic impact to the regional economy of £88m. 

Since its inception in 2002, North East Screen – formerly known as North East Film & Media – has already helped support hit North East TV shows Vera and The Dumping Ground, providing local crews, support and production, and it is confident the move will mark the beginning of an exciting new era for the organisation.

Gayle Woodruffe, operations director at North East Screen, said: “We want to attract people from across the globe to come and film here and being based out of Sunderland will allow us to position ourselves centrally to promote the entire region.

“The North East has so many hidden gems. We have coast, countryside, cities and castles, however the TV and film industry has traditionally been somewhat closed off to areas such as ours. This is why working in partnership with all of the local and combined authorities really has its strengths.

“By pooling our resources together and working in collaboration, as opposed to being in competition with one another, there’s no reason why we can’t maximise the region’s assets and everything it has to offer.”

As well as positioning the region as a go-to place to film, North East Screen will also seek to develop the skills that the sector needs to not only survive but thrive through initiatives such as its Crew Academy, Production Service, and the North East Comedy Hot House. 

“We’re also trying to break down the stigmas of what careers in TV and film entail,” she added. “There are so many career opportunities that people just don’t realise exist, from costume design to makeup, electricians and accountants.

“We know we have the locations, as well as the talent and resources required to film and produce real quality shows here, so there’s no reason why we can’t pool our resources together and really grow the industry and significantly grow its economic impact.”

The move to The Beam will see North East Screen join the likes of Ocado, RSA and Sunderland City Council in investing in Riverside Sunderland, which has benefited from over £1billion in investment from the private and public sectors.

“It’s so up and coming around there,” Gayle added. “It’s a phenomenal place to be. Sunderland is culturally at the heart of what’s going on. Culture House, the Fire Station, the Empire Theatre, there’s so much talent in this area and we can’t wait to be a part of it.”

North East Screen’s move to the city was supported by the business investment team at Sunderland City Council.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The TV and film industries already contribute over £40 million to the economy each year and there’s no reason why, given the locations, resources and talents we have, we can’t significantly grow that figure.

“The North East is a beautiful, diverse region with landscapes that make it picture-perfect for the screen industries, and Sunderland is right at the heart of that, so we’re delighted to have the team joining us at Riverside Sunderland.”

To find out more about Sunderland as a place to do business, visit: https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/business-and-investment