The screen agency set up to grow the North East’s TV and film sector has moved into a new picture-perfect base at the heart of Riverside Sunderland.
North East Screen, supported by the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP), officially moved into its new office at The Beam this week.
The move puts the organisation at the heart of the region as it looks to create ‘vibrant industry sector communities’ and ‘develop the skills required to turn it into a centre of excellence for the screen industries.’
This includes ensuring new entrants to the industry have the skills to access work opportunities, making it easier for production companies to film in the North East and raising the region’s global profile.
Gayle Woodruffe, operations director at North East Screen, said: “The North East is fast becoming a hub for TV and film production and basing our organisation in Sunderland feels like the right move at the right time to the right location. We are very much looking forward to being in the Riverside development, at the heart of the cultural developments in Sunderland.”
Supported by the regions three combined authorities and 12 local authorities, as well as the BBC, North East Screen is delivering a comprehensive screen development programme funded by NESIP which was formed to enhance the region’s film and TV industries by more than doubling its 2019 share of the UK production market and delivering an annual economic boost to the regional economy of £88m.
North East Screen, formally Northern Film + Media, has a track record of over 20 years supporting the sector but this has been super charged by NESIP and their partnership with the BBC.
This rapid growth in production which will only continue to grow as new studios are built and will result in many more jobs for the residents of Sunderland and the wider North East who may not have considered they could work in the industry.
In the last 12 months, North East Screen has supported a number of new BBC productions filming in the region including ‘Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes’, Charlotte in Sunderland, Scarlett’s Driving School, 24/7 Pet Hospital and Northern Justice as well as hit North East TV shows ITV’s Vera, CBBC’s The Dumping Ground and Danny and Mick and Gayle is confident the move will mark the beginning of an exciting new era for the region’s screen sectors.
She added: “As an organisation we are working hard to link all development, talent, interest, investment and opportunities so that as a region we are best placed to attract feature films and large TV productions to create a thriving and sustainable industry. We are keen to work with local production companies and companies who feel they could supply the industry. From taxi firms to caterers, security services to local cafes, so many businesses can benefit from being part of this growing industry.”
Home to the world’s largest grocer, Ocado and fast-growing offshore technology consultancy, Asset55, The Beam was the first building to be constructed at Riverside Sunderland, which once complete, will create thousands of city centre jobs.
The Business Investment Team at Sunderland City Council assisted North East Screen with its move to the hub, which directly brings 17 skilled jobs to the city.
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Ocado, Envision, RSA and Just Eat are just a few of the businesses to have invested in Sunderland over recent years and we are absolutely delighted to be able to add North East Screen to the seemingly ever-growing list of organisations realising the potential of doing business in the city.
“As well as positioning Sunderland at the heart of the region’s screen industries, it will also see more jobs brought to the city centre and will help the body work even closely with the businesses who are actively trying to develop and grow the city’s film and TV industries.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved with the city and I’m confident this will be just the start of many more exciting development to follow.”
To find out more about Sunderland as a place to do business, visit: https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/business-and-investment