Boost for West midland creative industries
The West Midlands creative industries are set for a boost following the announcement by Andy Street, Mayor for the West Midlands, of an upcoming £2.1m Production Fund and a new Screen Bureau for the region.
The Mayor argues that making £2.1m available for the sector will be an integral part of his vision for creative and technology industries across the region.
The West Midlands Production Fund (WMPF) is to be finalised and re-opened later this year. Creative England is in final contract negotiations with Government to recycle the £2.1m legacy for reinvestment in digital media productions in the West Midlands.
The Mayor also announced the formation of the West Midlands Screen Bureau, a new initiative that seeks to galvanise the region’s film, TV and digital production sectors by increasing partnership working between industry leaders and production agencies across the West Midlands Combined Authority area.
Separately, the region has also established a reputation as a successful games hub, with a number of established games companies, particularly in the Leamington Spa area.
He said: “The potential for the creative and digital industries in the West Midlands is vast. These high growth and future-facing sectors not only offer huge job potential but also drive innovation and support other important industries.
“We are working to attract inward investors at one end of the scale, while encouraging the creation and growth of new businesses at the other.
“The West Midlands Production Fund and Screen Bureau will play a key part in both of these efforts. By bringing together regional partners and industry leaders in the film, TV and digital production sectors, the West Midlands will have a much more powerful voice and a clearer direction.”
The WMPF has financially supported a number of hugely successful productions, including the The Girl With All The Gifts, starring Glenn Close and Paddy Considine;Jawbone, the first screenwriting project from star of This Is England ’86Johnny Harris, and Spooks: The Greater Good, starring Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harrington.
You can watch a short film on some highlights from filming in the area here.
The initiatives were confirmed at the launch for a national Creative Industries Toolkit in Birmingham. The toolkit is designed to showcase and stimulate regional creative economies, and will be rolled out across the country in the next year.
Speaking at the event, Vice President of Facebook EMEA and Creative Industries Council Chair, Nicola Mendelsohn CBE, discussed with the audience the West Midlands’ range of creative institutions and businesses, Birmingham’s place as home to the largest tech and digital cluster outside London, and encouraged other cities and other regions to think about how they can grow their creative sectors too.
Also speaking, John Newbigin OBE, Creative England Chairman, discussed the impact of the WMPF and the themes of the Creative Industries Toolkit with a panel of industry experts including Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Birmingham and BBC Academy; Debbie Isitt, Writer and Film Producer; Anita Bhalla, Chair of Performances Birmingham; Steve Root, Vice President of Development Creative Services at Codemasters and Rosy Greenlees, CEO of Crafts Council.
Published: 8 September, 2017.
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