The former screen agency has secured £7.5m of European Regional Development Funding which will be match funded by private investors for films based and/or shooting in the region.
Screen Yorkshire has secured £7.5m of investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to invest in creative content of film, TV games and the digital sector.
The funding will need to be matched by private sector investors on a project by project basis, taking the total fund to £15m.
The Yorkshire Content Fund will be managed by Screen Yorkshire and will invest in content creation by Yorkshire based companies as well as attracting productions looking to establish a base for a film within the region.
Investments will be made on a commercial basis, with the intention that investment returns will produce a legacy fund to support content development and production in Yorkshire in the future.
The fund is launched on the back of a number of critically acclaimed projects which previously received Screen Yorkshire investment including Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and Ben Wheatley’s Kill List, from Sheffield based Warp Films and Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights.
Screen Yorkshire was one of a number of agencies who chose not to fold into new regional body Creative England back in October 2011. The injection of funds is a coup for the region at a time when European money is scarce. It is likely to encourage film productions to base themselves in the area.
News of the new fund has been welcomed by members of the industry. Pathe MD and Screen Yorkshire board member Cameron McCracken described the funding as a “huge achievement. 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.”
Warp Films’ Mark Herbert added: “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.”
Meanwhile, Screen Yorkshire’s chief executive Sally Johynson said the fund “marked a new era for the region’s creative businesses and for Screen Yorkshire as an organisation. The fund will also create hundreds of jobs across the supply chain, which is so critical at the moment.”
Screen Yorkshire executives will be attending the Berlin Festival to talk to producers and financiers. The Fund is now officially open.