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 www.northeastscreen.org/project/production-fund.

New original drama supported by the North East Production Fund begins filming in the North East

Posted on by North East Screen

New original drama, The Red King, has recently begun filming in the North East, joining an array of productions using the North East as their filming base.

The six-part series, supported by the North East Production Fund, is written by Toby Whitehouse (Being Human, The Game) and produced by Quay Street Productions, has been commissioned by UKTV for leading crime drama channel, Alibi.

North East Screen Chief Executive, Alison Gwynn, was thrilled to hear that The Red King had started filming in the North East. She said,

“I am delighted to welcome Quay Street Productions to the North East to film their new original drama, The Red King. Having this production based in the region not only shows faith in the adaptability of our stunning locations, but also supports our highly-skilled crew who are based here, being able to work in the region and sleep in their own homes.”

Following the successful North East Production Fund pilots, children’s TV series Cooking With the Gills (MCC Media Ltd), and feature film, Jackdaw (Anton Corp); The Red King is the last North East Production Fund pilot which is managed and delivered by North East Screen on behalf of the North East Screen Industries Partnership. The Production Fund is now open to expressions of interest and those interested parties should complete the form on our Production Fund page.

Open to both local and national companies, the fund aims to catalyse the sustainable growth of the North East’s film and TV production sector by investing in a portfolio of distinctive, high-quality project that will collectively contribute to the region, increasing the on-screen visibility and actively contribute to employment of locally based crew, spend in the region and improved equality, diversity and sustainability.

Speaking about the North East Production Fund being open, Alison Gwynn said,

“With the North East Production Fund now live, we will attract more high-end TV productions, feature films and returning series to the region. For every £1 we give out, we expect productions to spend at least £10 in the region driving inward investment and developing the region’s reputation as a destination for high level TV and film production.”

In the past year, North East Screen’s Film Office has supported 57 productions filming in the region, including The Old Oak, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Vera, The Dumping Ground, Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes, Danny and Mick, who have in turn spent over £12 million in the region. These join a growing list of feature film and tv productions who have filmed in the North East including Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Amongst Thieves, Blue Jean, I, Daniel Blake, 1917, The Last Kingdom, Emmerdale and Inspector George Gently.

The North East Screen Film Office supports both indigenous and incoming productions to the region with a vast network of locations, crew, facilities, studios, and a wealth of local knowledge. With a filming friendly agreement in place with all 12 local authorities, they can support facilitating productions in gaining permissions, road closures, parking permits and securing locations. For more information head to www.northeastscreen.org/film-office

Fund Advisor opportunity with North East Screen

Posted on by North East Screen

We are looking to sub contract a Fund Advisor to support our North East Production Fund.

You will act as a key contact for potential applicants to the Production Fund and supervise the assessment of all project applications.

We are looking for someone with extensive previous experience in a similar role to support our team here at North East Screen and to provide information to our NEPF Funding Panel as necessary.

We expect an average of 6 days work per month on an as and when basis. Minimum contract 12 months. 

Click here to view the full job specifications.

Click here to find out more about the North East Production Fund.