Following industry investment of at least £37 million, North East Screen (formerly Northern Film + Media) launches its new name, brand and programme of events at an event in Sunderland today.
The agency is now gearing up to meet the challenge of increasing activity by creating new partnerships, rebranding their successful business model, and creating vibrant industry sector communities. This will enhance and develop the skills that make the North East the place to create excellence in the world of TV and film.
Tom Gutteridge, North East Screen Chairman explains;
“In the last decade despite a challenging funding environment Northern Film + Media has continued to deliver a production service and business support while also lobbying on behalf of the sector in the region.”
Alison Gwynn, North East Screen Chief Executive continues;
“With a new name and ambition for growing the sector, real investment and broadcaster partners, we are strongly putting the message out that the North East is open for business.
We have the skills, the passion and the knowledge, not to mention the incredible locations. By increasing our networks and connecting people, skills and companies we want to provide a pathway for regional talent, to encourage companies to set up in the beautiful North East and to say to any native North Easterners working in the industry elsewhere in the UK to come back home!
“The unique partnership created last year by the BBC with all 12 local authorities and three combined authorities across the North East region will help us achieve our vision. We will be delivering a programme of events and skills activity to provide a pathway for students, to attract visiting productions, to keep industry talent in the region and increase the visibility of the region nationally and internationally. By working together we hope to strengthen our position to attract the very best of TV and Film production and talent.”
The BBC is making its biggest investment in the North East for decades as part of a new partnership with the region, and as part of a wider strategy to move significant creative spend and decision-making across the UK.
The BBC has promised to spend at least £25m over the next five years right across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support for the creative sector.
It’s part of a deal with local authorities in the North East, who will work with the BBC, and with independent producers, to invest in talent, skills, and infrastructure to support the production industry in the region.
The North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) was created by the partnership to level up the regional film and TV industries by increasing its share of the UK production market and delivering an estimated annual economic impact of around £88m to the regional economy.
NESIP will invest £11.4m over five years to deliver a new Screen Industries Development Programme. The programme will develop, attract, and retain talent in the sector as well as providing good quality, well paid jobs within the industry. As part of the scheme, North East Screen will create even more opportunities to develop the skills that the sector needs to not only survive but thrive. The programme will be delivered through North East Screen’s Crew Academy, Production Service, and the North East Comedy Hot House.
A statement from the leaders and elected mayors of the authorities in the partnership
“North East Screen are central to delivering the new North East Screen Industries Development Programme and we are delighted to be working together as a region to support them. We want to strengthen the regional creative sector and increase the visibility of our region and it’s communities on screen. We look forward to the growth of the sector and welcoming more jobs and opportunities for people of the North East in film and TV.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said;
“The North East’s TV and Film production industry holds the potential to create good-quality well paid jobs at every level of production. Now is the time to be proactive so that we can develop, attract and retain local talent in the sector.”
The BBC has already announced that there will be at least six new commissions filming in the North East as a result of its commitment to the region.
It includes a new documentary series with James Arthur for BBC Three that has been filmed in his home town of Middlesbrough and Scarlett’s Driving School for BBC One, which will also be filmed in Teesside.
The BBC also hosted the BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle last month, now has a commissioner permanently based in the region, and is providing trainee opportunities within productions in the region.
This partnership with the region is part of the BBC’s commitment to do more across the UK by moving departments, commissioning power, and resources out of London.
Thomas Wrathmell, Director of the BBC’s Across the UK Strategy, says:
“The response since making the huge commitment last year has been incredible and showcases the appetite for making this region a significant centre for the creative industries.
“We’re already delivering on our promise, with six new commissions in the area, investment in skills, production companies and trainee production placements on shows being filmed in the North East and hosting the BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle last month. We are delighted to see others from across the creative sector investing across the North East and look forward to working together to power the sustainable growth of the sector.”
Alison Gwynn added;
“With our new partnerships and regional investment, we are launching new training schemes, work shadowing opportunities and will continue to provide key links to the industry for locations job opportunities within every part of our region. North East Screen is a one stop shop for the sector and there has never been a more exciting time to work in the TV and movie industry in the North East.”
Notes to Editors
North East Screen Industries Partnership was formed by Combined and Local Authorities from across the region 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.
It includes Tees Valley Combined Authority, (representing the five authorities of Hartlepool Borough Council, Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council, Middlesbrough Council, Darlington Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council), the North of Tyne Combined Authority (representing its three partner authorities Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council and Newcastle City Council) and the North East Combined Authority authorities of Durham County Council, Gateshead Council, Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.
Partnership with the BBC, Following the publication of the BBC Across the UK strategy the partnership signed an MOU with the BBC in September 2021, making commitments that:
- The BBC will spend a minimum of £25m on production and skills development in the North East over the next five years.
- NESIP will jointly invest £11.4m over the same five-year period to deliver a new Screen Industries Development Programme maximising opportunities for significant growth within the screen industries sector and developing a thriving and sustainable ecosystem.