Financial support offered direct to media industry

13 May 2009

 

Yorkshire Forward, Screen Yorkshire & Leeds City Council met last week as part of the ongoing review surrounding a package of support for the media industry, following the announced closure of the ITV Yorkshire Studios.

The partnership commissioned a report by media consultancy Olsberg-SPI Ltd to provide an independent assessment of the future of the ITV-Yorkshire in March. This report analysed the options regarding potential future use of the studios and the partnership considered its recommendations in particular with regard to their viability, sustainability and fit with the Leeds City Council city development plans and regional sector strategy.

“We can confirm that potential public ownership and management of this studio complex as a facility for the region is no longer being considered by Yorkshire Forward. It is felt that the future of the production industry would be best served by the investment of public funds into activities that generate production work - in generating jobs and maintaining the skills & talents of both creative and technical staff, here in the region.

It is important to remember that the Kirkstall Road area still has a strong production community, with the remaining ITV-Yorkshire 104 building which includes Calendar Regional News, Shiver, the Provision facilities, as well as Radio Aire and Studio 81. The Emmerdale production unit is also adjacent to this site, in Burley Road. As a result of the heritage present in this area, it will continue to attract large scale production activity and will, in turn, complement the creative and digital activity focused in the Holbeck Urban Village development.

We continue to work closely with a number of agencies and ITV to put together comprehensive support for those people who are under threat of redundancy and to support existing businesses to survive and adapt to the changes that face them. Screen Yorkshire will lead this initiative to ensure this package meets the needs of the industry and that there is a coordinated approach.”

A range of financial support measures have been set up by Yorkshire Forward to offer support to businesses to survive unforeseen strain on their finances as a result of economic changes. Businesses within the media sector should contact Screen Yorkshire for assistance to maintain their current employment and cash flow.

Screen Yorkshire and Yorkshire Forward are working to provide an additional production fund to generate and maintain production work as well as continuing the success in attracting high profile Film & TV drama productions into the region. This will not only increase employment for the freelance community, revenue for the region’s facility companies and income into the region’s economy, but will continue to maintain the regions reputation and profile as one of the UK’s leading centres of production excellence.

Leeds City Council has also committed their support to activities that will stimulate business and jobs through its current business support initiatives for Leeds based production companies.

In addition to the above, work is ongoing to ensure links to existing initiatives and schemes operated by a number of other agencies, such as Business Link and Job Centre Plus.
ENDS

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Leona Thompson, Press Manager on 0113 3949589 or email Leona.thompson@yorkshire-forward.com