North East Screen, the regional screen agency for North East England, are fully supportive of the scale and ambition of the development of CrownWorks Studios, which would be a crucial game-changer for the region’s rapidly growing screen industry.

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, believes in making brave and ambitious decisions and plans for the region, with the studio development clearly being an ambitious plan.

On North East Screen support for the studio plan, Alison said: “Through the work delivered by North East Screen and the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) we are already delivering real results to grow the screen industry across the North East. Capital investment however, in a large studio would supercharge the region’s capacity to deliver a much broader range of international production across the whole year. We know we have the talent, skills, locations, and experience, building on the impact of activity that has already been developed and delivered across the region in the last two years. Now we need the infrastructure to make the industry more sustainable and create long-term jobs and opportunities.

“Since NESIP backed North East Screen to deliver a strategic five-year development project in 2020, production has risen 28% in the last year (bucking the national trend), and for every £1 invested by NESIP, up to £8 is being spent in the region creating well paid creative jobs. We will likely see these figures continue to rise across 2024 and 2025.

“The North East is very much open for, and delivering business. It is vital for the region to maintain this momentum in a very fast-moving sector. FulwelCain’s plans for CrownWorks Studios presents a phenomenal opportunity to capitalise on, and bring real change to the North East’s infrastructure, helping the region become one of the leading film and TV production hubs not only here in the UK, but globally.”

Newspapers and news websites from around the North East have also come together to call on the Government to provide financial support for the CrownWorks Studios plan.

A joint statement from regional editors Ross Robertson, Ian Arkle, Graeme Whitfield, Helen Dalby, Sophie Barley and Gavin Foster said: “The CrownWorks Studios plan has the potential to be transformational for Sunderland and the wider North East. It could be the catalyst for growth in the North East creative industries in the same way that the Nissan plant was for the car industry 40 years ago.

“FulwellCain have developed a plan that has the backing of the whole region, as well as key players in the film and TV world.

“We felt it was only right that the regional media unite our voices to demonstrate the depth of that support in every corner of the North East. Politicians of all parties have supported the plans but now is the time for the Government to provide the financial support to back up those warm words.

“The CrownWorks plan is levelling up in action and an opportunity that cannot be squandered.”

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