Centre of excellence initiative to pilot in Yorkshire

A ground-breaking initiative to establish a network of centres of excellence for film and television in the nations and regions will be piloted in Yorkshire

Skill Up | Photo by Lisa Stonehouse

Creative Skillset, the skills body for the UK screen industries, will work with Screen Yorkshire and the National Film and Television School to assess how joining forces can amplify the impact of targeted investment into training and build a greater skilled workforce outside London and the South East.

Yorkshire emerged as a logical place to pilot the ambitious plan to build production capacity in the regions because of work already carried out by Screen Yorkshire in developing partnerships with existing production facilities, further and higher education institutions including the West Yorkshire College Consortium, LEPs and other stakeholders.

It is proposed that centres of excellence will act as national and regional hubs for a UK-wide programme of mentoring and the delivery of local bursaries to best support emerging and established talent across the UK in the screen industries.

The initiative is supported by National Lottery funds awarded to Creative Skillset by the BFI (British Film Institute) as part of its Future Film Skills action plan which highlighted the need for 10,000 new recruits to the industry by 2022.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film, Creative Skillset, said: "We know that across the UK production and post-production is booming and it needs a reliable and inclusive talent delivery pipeline. The aim is to create a stronger supply of essential crew in areas where there is an opportunity to build an ever-more sustainable industry.

“This should offer opportunities to more young people with talent to get a foot in the door of film and television closer to home – helping overcome the barriers created when there is little or no filming where people are growing up. The initiative will also help existing screen professionals to continue to update their skills and carry on working, while offering producers a wider range of locations with a skilled workforce on hand.”

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, said: ‘’Landing the UK’s first centre of excellence for film and TV is a major milestone for the region and reflects Yorkshire’s growing status as a leading centre for film and TV production. Strengthening the workforce is a fundamental part of Screen Yorkshire’s five-year industry growth plan and the centre of excellence is one of a number of initiatives that we have been developing behind the scenes to ensure that productions filming in Yorkshire can be assured they will be working with the best crews in the business.’’

The centre of excellence in Yorkshire will be built on a strong foundation. The region’s film and TV sector has been invigorated in recent years, with Screen Yorkshire’s investment activities helping to deliver unprecedented growth in employment and turnover; more than double the rate of any other region in the UK.

The centre of excellence is part of a portfolio of initiatives being rolled out across the region, aimed at upskilling the local workforce and creating new opportunities for individuals wishing to establish a career in the screen industries. It follows an incredibly busy summer for the region, which has hosted a range of feature film, TV and VOD productions in recent months, including; Hope Gap, Official Secrets, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Secret Garden, Victoria (S3), The Innocents, The ABC Murders and Gentleman Jack.

It is expected that similar centres of excellence programmes for other nations and regions will open for recruitment through 2019 and beyond. Learnings taken from the Yorkshire pilot will inform the roll-out of a second centre, with both contributing to the development of a UK-wide network of a minimum of five locations.

For further information, please contact Louise Jury, Director of Communications and Marketing at Creative Skillset, on 020 7713 9883 or LouiseJ@creativeskillset.org or Rachel McWatt, Communications Manager, Screen Yorkshire on 07949 666275 or rachelm@screenyorkshire.co.uk

About Creative Skillset

Creative Skillset, which formally adopts the name ScreenSkills on 4 October, 2018, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based creative industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. 

About Screen Yorkshire

Screen Yorkshire champions the film, TV, games and digital industries in Yorkshire and the Humber. Its aim is to secure and support the very best projects, companies and individuals, helping to make Yorkshire and the Humber one of the most sought-after destinations for production in the UK

Screen Yorkshire offers production financing through the Yorkshire Content Fund. Since it launched the YCF in February 2012 Screen Yorkshire has invested in 40 film & TV projects, including: Dark River, Yardie, Ghost Stories, Journeyman, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, ’71, National Treasure, Ackley Bridge, The Great Train Robbery, Peaky Blinders, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Hank Zipzer.

Screen Yorkshire has been leading the development of the Yorkshire Screen Hub, a cluster for the screen industries, which was recognised by the BFI in 2016 as the first awardee of funds from the Creative Cluster Challenge Fund to develop a growth plan for the industry in the region. Screen Yorkshire also works with Creative Skillset to develop regional and UK wide talent by designing and delivering industry schemes such as Bootcamp and Triangle. www.screenyorkshire.co.uk

About NFTS

Recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema BAFTA, the NFTS is one of the world's leading film, games and television schools. NFTS alumni have gone on to win 10 Oscars and 137 BAFTAs with alumni including Oscar winning cinematographer, Roger Deakins; BAFTA winning director, David Yates, (known for directing the Harry Potter films); Oscar winning animator Nick Park (creator of Wallace & Gromit), Oscar winning composer Dario Marianelli & BAFTA winning director, Lynne Ramsay.

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of UK and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting UK film and talent to the world 
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.


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