Funding

'Peaky Blinders' (BBC 2) was one of the first productions made with investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund.

The Yorkshire Content Fund

Screen Yorkshire has been supporting the growth of the screen industries in the region through investing in content since 2003.  We established the Yorkshire Content Fund for producers based in Yorkshire & Humber or for national and international production companies wishing to film or establish a base in the region. Open to TV, film, video games and digital sectors the fund typically invests up to £500,000 per project, providing this investment is matched on identical terms with an equivalent amount of private sector investment.

Returns made on investments go back into the fund, allowing us to continue supporting content development and production in the region in the future. The fund receives no additional ‘top-up’ and, therefore, its continued ability to invest is dependent solely on the performance of the projects it invests in.

Since the Yorkshire Content Fund was launched in February 2012, Screen Yorkshire has invested in over 40 projects including: Official Secrets, Hope Gap, Ackley Bridge, Fighting For A City, Yardie, Ghost Stories, Dad’s Army, Swallows and Amazons, Testament of Youth, National Treasure and Peaky Blinders.

Screen Yorkshire shared our ambition for this film to be both a commercial and creative success. They were very supportive and film-maker friendly

Ged Doherty, Producer, Official Secrets

Having access to the Yorkshire Content Fund has been pivotal for us, especially as the episode numbers increased in season 2

George Ormond, Executive Producer, The Forge (Ackley Bridge)

Screen Yorkshire don’t just offer financial support, it’s also about the support they give production, too, to help us make the best film we could

Niall Shamma, COO, Warp Films (Ghost Stories, Yardie)

How to apply

The fund is open to applications but all applicants must complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form prior to completing a full application. If you have a project looking for investment please complete the Expression of Interest form via the ‘Apply Now’ button below. Once we have received your completed EOI, we will contact you to discuss your application.

Apply now

Funding case studies

Questions about the Yorkshire Content Fund?

  • Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments

    Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments

    As Head of Investments, Hugo sources projects for investment and negotiates the terms of Screen Yorkshire’s funding deals. He prepares recommendations for the Investment Committee and has creative oversight of the projects we invest in.

Yorkshire Content Fund FAQ

If I decide to base my project in Yorkshire and Humber in order to access the Yorkshire Content Fund, what other support will I receive?

Screen Yorkshire has managed investment funds and supported the creative industries within the region for over fifteen years so we can offer other support or put you in touch with other organisations. If you need studios, locations, crew, facilities, office space, or other suppliers we can help you source these or point you in the direction of someone that can.

How are projects evaluated and what type of project is likely to receive investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund?

The success of the Yorkshire Content Fund is measured on the commercial return to the fund overall and of individual projects. Therefore Screen Yorkshire, as fund manager, will be evaluating projects on this basis – market value, recoupment position, risk and overall fit within the investment portfolio. We will look for evidence of market value such as having a sales agent attached, sales projections, UK and other distribution deals, broadcaster commission, analysis of comparable projects, along with risk factors such as the previous experience of the applicants. Secondly, we will consider broader benefits to the region such as production spend within the region and contribution towards overall growth of the sector within Yorkshire and Humber.

Who will decide which projects receive investment from the fund?

Screen Yorkshire’s Head of Investments manages the fund and makes recommendations to the Investment Committee that has ultimate responsibility for funding decisions. An Audit Committee ensures that all decisions are taken independently, and conform to the Operating Guidelines and the Investment Policy. The investment performance and processes of the Yorkshire Content Fund are monitored by an Independent Advisory Panel.

What are the terms of finance for the Yorkshire Content Fund?

No public monies are being used to fund the overheads of operating the YCF, therefore the YCF will charge an arrangement fee along with a backend premium and/or a share of profits. Any investment must be matched with equal private investment and on identical recoupment terms to that private investment. The fund aims to recoup so there will a legacy fund for future investments. For all projects we would also expect the budget to include all costs to complete delivery to all markets and end users.

Does the company need to be established prior to making an application to the Yorkshire Content Fund?

No, if a new company is to be established then an application can be submitted prior to the company registration process. The establishment of the company would be a condition of receiving investment from the YCF. If the company is wholly or partly owned by another company then the parent company’s details must be added in the relevant section of the application form.

Do I have to live in Yorkshire & Humber to apply to the Yorkshire Content Fund?

The project must take place in the region, employ people within the region and be managed by a registered company located in Yorkshire and Humber. The fund is open to companies already based in the region or companies looking to establishing a new entity in Yorkshire and Humber. Investments will be made only once a new entity has been established. Only SMEs (<250 employees; and < 50m euros turnover or <43m euros balance sheet) can apply for finance from the fund.

Do I need to have the private match finance in place before I apply to the Yorkshire Content Fund?

We will always need the private match finance to be in place by the time a full application is received. However, we appreciate that you may not have a firm commitment of finance at the time of the expression of interest.

What type of finance can be used to match against the fund?

Any type of private finance from banks to personal funds, as well as specialist industry financiers or sales or distribution advances, provided the finance is independent of the company to be invested in. Companies’ own funds or those of Directors and Shareholders, or their immediate relatives, does not count as match. Other public finance does not count as match so investment from public bodies or companies established with a public charter such as the BFI and the BBC cannot be counted. Investment from these financiers can form part of the project financing but is not considered eligible match finance. Equally private investment that is not on identical terms does not count as match, such as broadcast licenses and gap finance or distributor advances that take an exclusive priority position. Loans do not count as match.

How does the Yorkshire Content Fund Invest?

The YCF is a co-investment fund; this means that it can only invest where there is at least an equal amount of private finance to match the YCF investment. This co-investment must be on identical terms prorate and paripassu (all receipts due to co-investors must be received at the same time in absolute proportion to the amount invested by each party). The YCF can match private investment in project equity; gap finance; mezzanine finance; cashflowing against UK tax credit, broadcaster or distributor contracts; or amix of the above.  

Can the Yorkshire Content Fund invest in Development?

The fund can invest in games development but does not invest in the development of film and television projects.

What can the Yorkshire Content Fund Invest in?

It can invest in projects within the screen industries sectors within the Yorkshire and Humber region. The fund invests in the production of content but cannot invest directly in companies. It is unlikely we will invest in short films, pilots or any project where there is not a clear and definable expectation that we will recoup our investment.

How much can the Yorkshire Content Fund invest in a project?

The fund will not commonly invest more than £500,000. The fund normally invests no more than 10-15% of te budget of a production. There is no minimum investment, but the fund will not normally consider investments of less than £10,000.

What is the purpose of the Yorkshire Content Fund?

The fund exists to address the issue of a lack of access to capital for screen industries companies that need to part-finance the production of projects. It aims to make a return on its investment in order to be able to continue to support these industries within the region. It also aims to create jobs and increase the GVA (Gross Value Added) of the successful applicant companies. Job creation and regional spend will be monitored throughout the project.

What is the Yorkshire Content Fund?

It is a fund managed by Screen Yorkshire to invest in the production of content within the film, TV, video games and digital sectors within the Yorkshire and Humber region.