U.K. regional org backs local production

LONDON — Blighty’s Screen Yorkshire has announced a £15 million ($23.7 million) content fund for TV, film, games and digital sectors within the Yorkshire and Humber area.

The fund, dubbed Yorkshire Content Fund, has secured ($11.8 million) of investment from the European Regional Development Fund, which will be further matched by private sector investors on a project-by-project basis.

Screen Yorkshire will manage the fund and will seek to invest in content creation by Yorkshire-based companies as well as to attract productions looking to lense in the region.

No public monies will be used for the fund’s overheads and investments will be made on market rate commercial terms, with the intention that returns will support future content development and production in the region.

Screen Yorkshire was one of the former U.K. regional screen agencies which were responsible for dishing out public sector money to film projects within their prescribed region.

Following the abolishment of the U.K. Film Council in 2010, regional screen agencies were shovelled into one national body, Creative England, with hubs in the North, Midlands and the South.

Screen Yorkshire, however, was not rolled into that national hub and has gone on to operate on an independent basis.

The agency has been responsible for plowing investment into pics such as Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur,” Warp X’s “Kill List” and Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights.”

“The Yorkshire Content Fund marks a new era for the region’s creative businesses and for Screen Yorkshire as an organization,” said Sally Joynson, chief exec of Screen Yorkshire. “These are difficult times and access to capital is still limited so to secure such a major pot of investment for the creative industries in Yorkshire and Humber is an incredible win for the region and for Screen Yorkshire.”

Pathe U.K. managing director Cameron McCracken, who is also a Screen Yorkshire member, noted that “an investment fund of this scale will attract inward investment and act as a catalyst for substantial production activity throughout the region.”

And Warp Films topper Mark Herbert added: “Finance is always a critical part of the jigsaw of getting TV or film made, so this fund can only help in increasing production levels within Yorkshire.”

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