Screen Yorkshire Content Fund

MAJOR BOOST FOR REGION AS SCREEN YORKSHIRE SECURES ADDITIONAL £7.5 MILLION FUNDING

FOR SCREEN INDUSTRIES 

Yorkshire Content Fund doubles in size for film, television, games and digital production in Yorkshire

Major productions made recently in Yorkshire include primetime TV dramas Death Comes to Pemberley and The Great Train Robbery, and feature film ’71, (selected for Official Competition at Berlin International Film Festival)

New investments also announced into Get SantaBill and Residue

20th January 2014.  Screen Yorkshire has secured a further £7.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to invest in Yorkshire-based film, television and digital content through the Yorkshire Content Fund. This additional money is available with immediate effect and will be invested in projects that start by the end of 2015.
The Yorkshire Content Fund is the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK and 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 thus stimulating local production levels.
In addition to the overall increase in the size of the fund, Screen Yorkshire will also consider applications seeking higher production investments than previously – in excess of £1m on a single film or TV series – in a bid to attract bigger projects to the region, and as part of a wider strategy to further boost the region’s media industries, and create hundreds of new jobs and training opportunities. Private investment to match fund the ERDF money is secured on a project by project basis.
Boosting the fund also underlines the success of the region and Screen Yorkshire in creating conditions which have led to an unprecedented surge in production in the region. Yorkshire was recently dubbed the ‘Hollywood of England’ by a leading UK film and television producer.
Since the launch of its Yorkshire Content Fund nearly two years ago, Screen Yorkshire has invested nearly £7 million in 18 projects, including critically acclaimed TV dramas Peaky Blinders created by Steven Knight andstarring Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, The Great Train Robbery from writer Chris Chibnall, starring Luke Evans and Jim Broadbent, and Death Comes to Pemberley, written by Juliette Towhidi based on PD James’ best-selling novel, directed by Daniel Percival and starring Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell MartinOther TV investments include Jamaica Inn directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell written by Peter Harkness based on Susannah Clarke’s novel, and directed by Toby Haynes, and Hank Zipzer  based on the books by, and starring, Henry (the Fonz) Winkler.
Feature films in which the fund has invested include ’71 directed by Yann Demange, written by Gregory Burke and starring Jack O’Connell, selected for Official Competition at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Catch Me Daddy directed by Daniel Wolfe, X Plus Y directed by Morgan Matthews and written by James Graham, andGirls’ Night Out to be directed by Julian Jarrold.
Screen Yorkshire has also invested in three new high profile feature film projects: Get Santa written and directed by Christopher Smith (TriangleSeverance) and starring Jim Broadbent and Rafe Spall for Scott Free London; family comedy Bill (as in Shakespeare), directed by Richard Bracewell, written by Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond (Yonderland and Horrible Histories) and paranormal thriller Residue, a multi-platform production directed by Alex Garcia Lopez (Utopia, Misfits), currently underway in Leeds. Screen Yorkshire is also in discussion with a number of games and digital companies on new projects and is actively seeking new projects and co-investors in this domain.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, said: “This additional investment of £7.5 million,effectively doubling the capacity of the Yorkshire Content Fund, is a vote of confidence in Yorkshire, in Screen Yorkshire and the effectiveness of the Yorkshire Content Fund in putting Yorkshire at the heart of production across the UK screen industries. Over the past two years we have been able to work with established and emerging UK producers from across the UK as well as those based in Yorkshire to make 18 film and television productions in the region generating work and training opportunities as well as boosting spend within the local economy. By increasing the level we’re prepared to invest in key projects, we are also now aiming to work with bigger productions which can further grow and create opportunities for Yorkshire.”
John Surtees, Chair of Screen Yorkshire, said: “Screen Yorkshire’s work with local talent and businesses over the last decade has helped create skilled and creative local resources which can now work on major productions. But it is the Yorkshire Content Fund which is now enabling the region to participate in production in a way that is generating real growth and sustainability.”
David Thompson, Head of Origin Pictures, producer of Death Comes to Pemberley and Jamaica Inn said:“It is great news that Screen Yorkshire have been able to extend their fund. They are playing an invaluable part in the UK film and television industry, providing crucial equity funding in a marketplace where investment is hard to find. For producers, the organisation is efficient and straightforward to deal with in terms of deal making, with little red tape. As a production base, Yorkshire has a rich pool of locations for both contemporary and period productions and its skilled and enthusiastic crews are an asset to every production. . Sally, Hugo and their team have created a very special and important organisation, long may it continue!”
Mark Herbert, Joint MD of Warp Films, which produced ’71 with investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund, said: “I can safely say that Warp Films growth over the years has been thanks to the ongoing support from Screen Yorkshire. Back in 2003 we secured business development funding from them and I was able to hire our now Head of Production Barry Ryan, meaning that there was someone there to hold the fort whilst I got the films off the ground. Screen Yorkshire also stepped in at a critical time when some funds fell through close to shooting the film ‘This Is England’ and that has turned into  BAFTA winning film and 7 hours of TV drama. Our latest film ‘71 has also been supported by them and we hope to continue working together as we enter our second decade.’’
The additional £7.5 million from the ERDF will be matched by private sector investors on a project-by-project basis.
The Yorkshire Content Fund supports the growth of the screen industries in the region. It is managed by Screen Yorkshire and invests in content creation by Yorkshire-based companies as well as being used to attract productions looking to establish a base and film within the region. No public funding is used for the fund’s overheads and investments are made on market rate commercial terms. Investment returns will produce a legacy fund to support content production in Yorkshire for many years to come.

 

Ends

For further information contact:

 

Rachel McWatt

Communications Manager

Screen Yorkshire

Mob: 07949 666275

rachelm@screenyorkshire.co.uk

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