Today’s announcement of the trailblazing devolution deal agreed between the Government and North East in the Spring budget will equip the region with the tools it needs to make the Crown Works Studios development in Sunderland a reality, further proving that there has never been a better time to join the booming screen industry in the North East.  

With production in the region already up 28% last year, going against the national picture, the North East Screen Film Office has trebled the production scheduled for 2024, largely thanks to the work of North East Screen Industries Partnership, delivered by North East Screen. The development of the Studios provides the North East with the large-scale infrastructure that is the next step to welcoming productions all year-round, creating a sustainable industry for future years and generations. 

In reaction to today’s announcement, Chair of North East Screen, Academy Award winner David Parfitt said “The backing for Sunderland’s Crown Works Studios is significant in ensuring that local industry talent and businesses have a place they can create global film and high-end TV content without having to relocate to other areas of the UK. 

My generation had to leave the North East to pursue careers in the creative screen industries. Record investment in local talent from the North East Screen Industries Partnership and major UK broadcasters has started to produce substantial change, but this major investment in a large-scale studio development will take us to the next stage, supporting the incredible talent already working in the North East and bringing others home.”

With the other developments currently happening across the region, today’s announcement supercharges the range of opportunities the region’s screen agency are already providing for homegrown and relocating talent and companies. North East Screen are currently working with a range of industry experts to ensure the region’s production, facilities and service companies are ready to maximise and retain inward investment.  

North East Screen’s skills team continue to work with incoming productions to create real bridges to industry and support life-long career development for established crew based in the region. Working with a range of skills providers, including the wider NESIP group, the North East Skills group (represented by education partners) and Screen Alliance North, a BFI skills cluster in partnership with Liverpool Film Office, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire to address wider skills shortages and improve access to quality training for diverse talent and communities; the team will continue to work closely with FulwellCain International and Sunderland City Council as the Crown Works Studio plans come to fruition. 

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said “With the UK screen industry worth an estimated £12.5 billion in 2023, and regional production already up 28%, to have backing for the Crown Works Studios will supercharge the North East in becoming an international production hotspot, where world class content for global audiences is made all year round.  

“We have world-class locations, we have talented crew, we have indies winning commissions, and we have the support of all our local and combined authority partners to ensure our region is truly filming friendly. 

“Studio development will provide the infrastructure we really need to continue the trajectory, attracting major big-budget features, key suppliers and in the process, creating a broader range of opportunities for the people and businesses of the North East.” 

To find out more about how North East Screen can support you or your business, please contact us at hello@northeastscreen.org  

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