A new £200,000 fund has launched to support independent film and TV production companies in Leeds City Region.
The funding initiative has been launched by Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) in association with Screen Yorkshire.
The Indie TV and film Development Fund will distribute awards of between £2,500 and £25,000, to help independent TV and film production companies to develop new content.
It is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP through its new Creative Catalyst programme which was established in response to Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds and broadcaster commitment to increase commissioning in the Nations and Regions.
Screen Yorkshire will lead the application and assessment process in collaboration with representatives from the LEP.
The fund is open to independent film and TV production companies with a substantive base in Leeds City Region who can demonstrate a proven track record in productions that have been broadcast (nationally or internationally) and / or commercially distributed.
At a time when production activity has been suspended, this intervention will come as welcome news to the sector.
The fund has been set up to offer flexible development grants to independent production companies so there is a fresh generation of original programmes ready to go into production as soon as the nationwide lockdown is lifted.
“In the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, as pitching to broadcasters picks up speed, the indies will need to put themselves in prime position to be ahead of the rush of proposals from other companies from across the UK. This fund will help them deliver on that,” said Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire.
In the past two years there has been a significant shift in momentum in the sector in Leeds City Region, driven in large part by Channel 4’s relocation, and by a growing recognition from other broadcasters of the creative expertise and talent on offer in the region.
The new fund will support the development of regional companies to diversify their range of clients and de-risk their vulnerability in these uncertain times and beyond.