Screen England has appointed Ruth Pitt to the new role of executive director and John Newbigin as it first independent chair.

The appointments aim to strengthen the organisation’s operational activities and give it a more effective and singular voice.

Pitt will support the work of the regional screen agencies and look at ways to provide more integrated and effective support for jobs, businesses and new skills across film, television, games, new media and film culture. However, her priority will be to look at practical ways of implementing the Digital Britain report.

She said: “Digital Britain demonstrates how dramatically the media landscape is changing. We believe the regional screen agencies are perfectly placed to help content producers, new talent and also consumers to make the transition to the fully digital universe.”

Former journalist Pitt ran her own independent production company for eight years before being made head of documentaries at Granada Television in 1996. She later joined the BBC as editor of its Everyman documentary strand before being made creative director of documentaries for BBC Religion and Ethics. She worked on BBC plans to move it production out of London before returning to independent production. She is a member of the Screen Yorkshire board and the Skillset north industry panel.

Screen England has also bought in Newbigin to head a board made up of the network’s nine chief executives and executive director.He has worked in public sector funding for the creative industries for many years and experience of the work of the regional screen agencies. He has been working for Screen England on a consultancy basis for the past year.

“The screen agencies have played a heroic but largely unsung role in brokering investment, skills and development and strategic support for media and creative businesses,” he said. “This initiative will enable us to increase the screen agencies’ contribution to a dynamic creative economy in the English regions.”

Meanwhile, Sally Joynson, the chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, will take on the role of deputy chair, which will rotate annually between the regional agencies.