The Northern Studios welcomes Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council, to an evening reception to celebrate the formal opening of the new North East based television and film studio complex.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, joins Sir Peter Bazalgette to conduct the formal opening alongside key figures from the screen industries and regional creative organisations.

The Northern Studios, Hartlepool, opened in November 2022, has already accommodated film and production crew for the forthcoming UK action thriller ‘Jackdaw’ directed by home grown talent, Jamie Childs (The Sandman, His Dark Materials).

The Northern Studios is a large-scale commercial facility for the region and, as such, supports the new film and television infrastructure ‘map’ for the North East. These are exciting times for the region with the recent confirmation of £16.5million of Government ‘Levelling Up’ funding to support a production village centred upon The Northern Studios, the surrounding creative quarter of Hartlepool and the announcements of further studio developments in Sunderland.

Sir Peter Bazalgette, Co-Chair of the Creative Industries Council, said: “I’m delighted to be here in Hartlepool celebrating the successful opening of The Northern Studios; as a region the North East has so much to offer in terms of talent and creativity. It’s important that all areas with the potential of the North East have both the training and commercial infrastructure they need to support their growing creative industries.”

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “The progress we are making in the North East is game-changing. There’s more to come and more to do but we’re on track to exceed the £25 million we promised to the region and have already delivered six new commissions while supporting production, talent development and the creative sector here.”

In September 2021, the BBC announced plans to spend at least £25m over the next five years across the North East to fund network TV production, talent development and support the creative sector as part of a wider partnership with the North East.

In return, Local and Mayoral authorities in the North East formed the North East Screen Investment Partnership (NESIP) and pledged to work with the BBC and independent producers, investing almost £11.5m to support talent, skills and infrastructure development to fuel the growth in the TV and film production industry across the region. The BBC is supporting the work of NESIP and huge progress has already been made.

The BBC is also launching the North East Tech Hub, delivering 70 new roles by the end of December 2023 which is hoped will act as a catalyst for further tech industry in the region. Production investment is part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy to commitment to get closer to its audiences to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the UK.

David Hughes, Chairman of The Northern Studios Board, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Sir Peter Bazalgette to The Northern Studios and receive support from Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, who have both shown huge support for the emerging new film and television production infrastructure in the North East. With one production completed and others planned, the Studios continues to deliver on its commitment to support film and television production in the area. This fully commercial production facility is the catalyst for the creation of new businesses in the area – and it’s already happening”

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: “Hartlepool is nurturing world-class talent in the film and TV industries, and it now has the facilities to match. We have invested millions in supporting the sector which continues to go from strength to strength. The Northern Studios is at the heart of our plans for the Hartlepool MDC and is a real sign to the UK’s creative industries and global production firms that the region is open for business!”

The Northern Studios works closely with North East Screen, the screen agency for the North East of England which is supported by the newly formed North East Screen Industries Partnerships (NESIP).

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen, said: “The screen industries are a vital part of our economy and our goal of making our region a TV and film production hub is helped greatly by studio infrastructure. We are working hard to develop talent and businesses across the North East region as well attracting production companies to film here. Having studio space, filming friendly local authorities and a skilled and talented growing workforce makes us a very attractive region indeed.”

The Northern Studios is a large-scale television and film studio complex in Hartlepool providing studio and green screen facilities, available for long- and short-term hire, to suit a range of content producers – from features and HETV through to promo and immersive, for further information, please visit www.thenorthernstudios.com

The Northern Studios was opened in November 2022 supported by funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and the Tees Valley Combined Authority in Partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council.

Cllr Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The Northern Studios development is central to our ambitious plan for a Production Village which has the potential to completely transform the Lynn Street/Whitby Street area and bring huge benefits to Hartlepool and its residents as a whole. The Production Village project, which is to receive £16.5 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, aims to build on the high-quality facilities already in place at the studios and provide support to the town’s fast-growing screen and creative industries sector. The Council is delighted to celebrate this key milestone for the area and the creation of a new hub for business in Hartlepool.”

The Northern Studios neighbours The Northern School of Art which provides training and education courses for the creative industries from Saturday Club, A-levels, diplomas, degrees and postgraduate study, for further information, please visit www.northernart.ac.uk

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