Wednesday 10 February 2016 The region’s film, TV & games industries have received a significant boost today as the BFI announces Yorkshire is first past the post in its UK wide plan for creative industry development and economic growth. The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub bid has been awarded National Lottery funding from the BFI through its Creative Clusters Challenge Fund, which aims to support the growth of emerging screen sector centres outside London and the South-East. 

Matched by funding from a Yorkshire-wide consortium, Screen Yorkshire, in partnership with industry leaders Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest, will spearhead the hub’s mission to build sustainable, long-term growth in the region’s burgeoning film, TV and games industries and maintain its competitiveness in a global industry.

Screen Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub will receive £127,000 through the BFI’s Creative Clusters Fund as seed funding for a plan to expand the region’s creative sector infrastructure and skills base. ‘Creating the Production Powerhouse’ is a nine-month programme of work beginning March 2016, that will identify the investment required for skills, training, infrastructure and knowledge sharing, to enable the Yorkshire and Humber region to compete globally. The BFI Award is matched by regional partners to create a total investment of £254,000.

Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI says “There’s something exciting happening in Yorkshire’s screen sector and there is huge potential in this dynamic region, so we’re thrilled to support such a range of fantastic partners who have come together with one common goal: to ensure Yorkshire’s burgeoning screen industries continue to grow and flourish. The UK’s screen industries are thriving and if we are to support future growth it is vital that more areas outside London become international hubs – this support for Yorkshire is significant and we look forward to announcing further Creative Clusters in the coming months.”

The award from the BFI is a powerful affirmation of Yorkshire’s pivotal role at the heart of British television production for over 40 years and its major contribution to the development of the games industry on a global scale. It recognises the renaissance in content production which has swept across Yorkshire, the birthplace of film, in recent years and the region’s potential to nurture a new generation of talent. Also investing in the Yorkshire Screen Industries Hub are the local authorities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York, Calderdale, Harrogate and Kirklees and six leading UK universities – Bradford, Huddersfield, Hull, Leeds Beckett, Sheffield Hallam and York.   Lead industry bodies including Creative Skillset, TIGA and UKIE are supporting the creative cluster bid alongside the four Yorkshire and Humber Local Enterprise Partnerships. Industry partners and businesses supporting the bid include Warp Films, True North, Daisybeck Studios, Prime Studios, Fettle Animation, 104 Films and Revolution Software.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire says, ‘’This is fantastic news for everyone working in the film, TV and gaming sectors in Yorkshire, now and in the future. It’s a huge vote of confidence in our screen industries and will enable us to build a compelling case for further investment in the sector. Over the last three years alone, Screen Yorkshire has invested more than £14 million into 38 feature films and TV programmes, including the new film production of Dad’s Army, award-winning TV drama Peaky Blinders and BAFTA™ nominated feature ’71.’’

“We’ll be embarking on a programme of work from March 2016, in partnership with industry leaders Game Republic and Sheffield Doc/Fest, to shape the region’s screen landscape for years to come; stimulating economic growth, creating new jobs and helping us to nurture a new generation of talent helping to establish Yorkshire as a global centre for film, television and games.”

Yorkshire has seen a surge in production of major feature films and TV productions establishing a strong reputation for the region’s production facilities, crews, talent and locations.  Screen Yorkshire’s own investment in 38 film and TV productions through the Yorkshire Content Fund has generated over £40 million of spend on the region’s businesses, services and talent.  Major films which have been made in Yorkshire include Dad’s Army currently number one at the UK box office following its release on Friday (5 February) and the upcoming adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, as well as Testament of Youth, A Royal Night Out, and the award-winning ’71.  Major TV productions made in the region include the multi award-winning TV series Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, An Inspector Calls, Jericho, Victoria, Happy Valley and This is England.

Yorkshire and Humber also has a strong video games ecosystem which includes business network Game Republic, as well as major internationally-recognised games studios including Team17, Sumo Digital and Revolution Software, informal groups such as GaMaYo, and smaller independent start-ups such as Red Kite Games and Boneloaf.   Yorkshire and Humber is also home to Games Britannia, an award-winning video games education festival hosted by Sheffield Hallam, and the innovative and exciting Platform Expos in Hull. 

The region also has strong international business and cultural links with emerging markets for the creative sector. Sheffield Doc/Fest, a world leading documentary festival that celebrates the art and business of documentary, welcomes over 30,000 documentary-makers and film lovers each June, including 3,500 industry delegates from more than 60 countries. Bradford is the first city in the world to be a UNESCO City of Film; Bradford and York are connected with 116 cities in 52 countries through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network; the region’s university and college partners have forged partnerships with Mumbai, Malaysia and China; and York is also a member of the Connecting Cities media arts network which encourages collaboration with cities spanning Berlin to Sao Paulo and Helsinki to Melbourne.

Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO & Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest says: “We are thrilled to be a key partner in the successful Screen Yorkshire bid for the BFI Creative Clusters Challenge Fund which will enable Doc/Fest to deliver a long-held ambition to pilot the first stage of a new year-round intensive and bespoke training programme, providing the very best emerging and provocative talent with support to become the stand-out creative voices and business of the industry.“

Jamie Sefton, Managing Director, Game Republic says: “As the longest-established and largest network dedicated to the games industry in the region, Game Republic is incredibly excited about the success of the Creative Cluster Fund bid. We’re looking forward to working with Screen Yorkshire on recognising the scope of the vibrant Yorkshire and Humber games industry and also maximising the opportunities for investment and development of the sector.”

The screen industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories delivering significant economic and cultural benefits to the UK – the BFI’s statistics for last year showed that over £1.4 billion was spent on film and high-end TV production in the UK alone.    London and the South East are central to the UK’s success as it is where the vast majority of screen businesses are based but to sustain growth in this fast-growing sector and maintain the UK’s international competitiveness, developing capacity outside the capital and the South East is essential. Capitalising on the creative, technological and business development opportunities that are generating growth elsewhere in the UK is central to the BFI’s UK-wide ambitions and strategy for the UK’s film and screen sector.

The BFI’s Creative Cluster Challenge Fund was launched in summer 2015 to encourage and support emerging screen industry clusters (film, television, animation and video games) outside London and the South East. The award to the Yorkshire region follows a competitive applications process.



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Notes to Editors

Screen Yorkshire offers production financing for content in the TV, film, video games and the digital sectors in Yorkshire and Humber, through the Yorkshire Content Fund, the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK. Backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the fund is open to content producers working in film, TV, games and digital based in Yorkshire or from outside but looking to establish a base in the region. It has attracted £15m from ERDF as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13. Recent investments include: Dad’s Army, Swallows & Amazons, How To Talk To Girls At Parties, The Hunter’s Prayer, A Royal Night Out, The Railway Children (York Theatre Royal), Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Testament Of Youth, The Great Train Robbery, Get Santa, X + Y, Death Comes to Pemberley, Catch me Daddy, ’71, Black Work and Bill.

Sheffield Doc/Fest, the UK’s premier and world leading documentary festival celebrating the art and business of documentary, welcomes over 30,000 documentary-makers and film lovers each June, including 3,500 industry delegates from over 60 countries. It is a hub for all documentary and factual content across all platforms, from feature length to shorts, and including virtual reality and interactive projects and comprises: the Film Programme for the very best international documentaries; a Marketplace for international business; Talks & Sessions to inspire, inform and debate; and Alternate Realities for digital and interactive innovation.

Thanks to BFI funding, the Festival will pilot a new year-round intensive and bespoke training programme which will provide the very best emerging and provocative talent with support to become the stand-out creative voices and businesses of the industry.

Game Republic, now in its 13th year, is an industry-led professional games network that supports and promotes the Yorkshire and Northern England games industry through networking events and business development. Game Republic has more than 60 members including games developers, publishers, universities and games-related companies such as Team17, Revolution Software, Sumo Digital, Double Eleven, Autodesk and Sheffield Hallam University. Its mission statement is simply: “More business for Game Republic members”.

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema

  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations

  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work

  • Promoting British film and talent to the world 

  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government

  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK

  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Greg Dyke.