New £15m content fund announced for Yorkshire
A new £15 million fund to invest in creative content in film, TV, games and the digital sector within Yorkshire and Humber has been announced by Screen Yorkshire. The Yorkshire Content Fund has secured £7,500,000 of investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which will be further matched by private sector investors on a project-by-project basis.
The Yorkshire Content Fund is managed by Screen Yorkshire and will invest in Yorkshire-based companies as well as being used to attract productions looking to locate within the region. Investments will be made on the same commercial terms as the matching private investor’s, and the intention is that investment returns will produce a legacy fund to support content development and production in Yorkshire for many years to come.
The fund is launched on the back of a number of successful projects which previously received Screen Yorkshire investment including Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and Ben Wheatley’s Kill List, from Sheffield’s Warp X and Andrea Arnold’s new version of Wuthering Heights.
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, said: “The Screen Yorkshire Content Fund marks a new era for the region’s creative businesses and for Screen Yorkshire as an organisation. 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. The fund will also create hundreds of jobs across the supply chain, which is so critical at the moment. I’m sure Yorkshire can now continue to create great content to build on its legacy of film and TV such as Red Riding; The Damned United and This is England to video games such as Broken Sword and Worms. It’s an exciting time to be in the creative industries in Yorkshire and Humber.”
Cameron McCracken, Managing Director of Pathe UK and Screen Yorkshire Board Member, said: “I’d like to congratulate Sally and her team for the huge achievement of securing this fund for Yorkshire and Humber. At a time when true risk equity is scarce, an investment fund of this scale will attract inward investment and act as a catalyst for substantial production activity throughout the region.”
Charles Cecil, Managing Director of York-based Revolution Software and Screen Yorkshire Board Member, said: “The advent of ubiquitous broadband has opened up huge opportunities for video games developers to self-publish their titles and, in doing so, retain the lions’ share of the revenues – Yorkshire, in particular, has a large number of successful, independent developers who find themselves in a fantastic position to grasp these opportunities. However, to capitalise on these opportunities upfront investment is required and can be very challenging to secure in this tough financial environment. The Yorkshire Content Fund will address this issue and also lead to significant job creation.”
Mark Herbert, Managing Director of Sheffield’s Warp Films, said: “Yorkshire has virtually everything you need to produce TV and film – stunning and diverse locations, skilled and experienced crew and now the new Yorkshire Content Fund. 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.”
The Yorkshire Content Fund is officially open to Expressions of Interest now at www.screenyorkshire.co.uk
This project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £7.5 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme 2007-13.