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Thu 23rd January
‘Yorkshire Hollywood’ acclaimed
Yorkshire's reputation as the “Hollywood of England” has received a major boost after the region’s screen investment agency secured another £7.5m in European funding to help support new film and TV projects.

Screen Yorkshire is receiving the money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and for the first time will consider bids in excess of £1m for film or TV series productions.

The agency hopes to attract bigger budget productions to the region to help create legacy funding. Money will provided on a commercial basis with an expectation that successful projects will deliver financial returns then available for more productions in future.

The finance will be administered through the Yorkshire Content Fund, which is the biggest regional investment fund for production in the UK. The scheme, which received an initial £7.5m in 2012, 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.

Sally Joynson, Screen Yorkshire chief executive, said: “This additional investment of £7.5m, 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.”

The region has recently enjoyed a surge in screen production, including TV series Death Comes to Pemberley and a forthcoming adaptation of Jamaica Inn which were both produced by Origin Pictures with help from the Yorkshire Content Fund.

David Thompson, producer for both series and who dubbed Yorkshire “the Hollywood of England”, 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.”

The new stream of funding is available with immediate effect and will be invested in projects that start by the end of 2015.

The money from the ERDF will be match funded by private investment on a project-by-project basis.

Screen Yorkshire has already recently invested in three new high profile feature film projects – family comedy Get Santa, starring Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent, another family comedy called Bill and paranormal thriller, Residue.

Shooting of Get Santa, which also stars Rafe Spall, Stephen Graham and Ewen Bremner, began in Leeds last week.

Screen Yorkshire has already recently invested in three new high profile feature film projects – family comedy Get Santa, starring Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent, another family comedy called Bill and paranormal thriller, Residue.

Shooting of Get Santa, which also stars Rafe Spall, Stephen Graham and Ewen Bremner, began in Leeds last week.

Further funding has also gone to Warp Films, based in Sheffield, for its latest feature which is a thriller called ’71 which has been selected for competitive showing at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Warp Films’ joint managing director Mark Herbert 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 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.”

Funding is also available to games and digital companies with Screen Yorkshire actively seeking new projects in these areas.

For the full story visit the Yorkshire Post website  




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