Industry Luminaries Join Screen Yorkshire’s Board

View of the River Aire, Calls Landing, Leeds City Centre

December 20th 2023

New Head of Finance Also Appointed

Screen Yorkshire announces the recruitment of two new high-profile executives to its board today. Andrew Sheldon, Co-Founder of True North and Fiona Melvin, Director of Finance and Operations at New Writing North, bring more than 45 years’ worth of experience to the board. John Wiggins joins Screen Yorkshire’s Senior Management Team as its new Head of Finance, bringing over 35 years of accountancy experience to the role. Andrew, Fiona and John will help drive forward Screen Yorkshire’s vision to sustain and grow Yorkshire’s reputation as a global destination for content, talent, skills and innovation within the UK’s screen industries.

Andrew Sheldon has been at the heart of the TV industry in Yorkshire for more than 30 years, first as a programme maker and then as the co-founder of Leeds based factual production company True North. The company, which is the biggest factual indie outside of London, has a team of more than 150 people making content in Leeds that is seen around the world. Both founded in 2002, Screen Yorkshire and True North have worked side by side, weathering many challenges and successes of Yorkshire’s ground-breaking screen sector for more than 20 years; from the dramatic cuts to investment in regional production in 2011, through to cementing Yorkshire’s position as the UK’s fastest growing region for film and TV production in 2017. Screen Yorkshire and True North were both pivotal to securing the landmark bid for Channel 4’s new National Headquarters, which opened its doors in Leeds in 2021.

Andrew has extensive knowledge of UK broadcasting, both as a programme maker and as an industry figure, having previously appeared in Broadcast Magazine’s annual top 20 list of industry influencers. After recently stepping down from True North, he continues to work as an executive producer and is also a Creative Mentor on the Advisory Board of Channel 4’s Growth Fund.

I’m proud to have built my career in the TV here in Yorkshire and I’m passionate about ensuring that the sector stays at the forefront of film and TV production in the UK and abroad. We have an extraordinary legacy to build on, and I’m looking forward to working with Screen Yorkshire to support a new generation of content makers add to that story.

Andrew Sheldon

Andrew Sheldon

Fiona Melvin is Director of Finance and Operations at New Writing North, the writing development agency for the North of England, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Fiona oversees the administrative and financial operations of the organisation including HR, risk, governance, and data reporting.

Fiona Melvin

Fiona has over 15 years’ experience working in the cultural sector across a range of business, finance, learning and engagement roles, plus four years in the private sector managing an office and event space overseeing occupancy, health and safety and a public engagement programme.

The North has a huge amount of talent that should be nurtured and supported in this region. I'm a proud north easterner and am committed to identifying and retaining talent so our creative industries can thrive in the north of England.

Fiona Melvin

Alongside its board appointments, Screen Yorkshire has recruited John Wiggins as its new Head of Finance, bringing over 35 years of accountancy experience to Screen Yorkshire’s Senior Management Team. A chartered certified accountant and STEP member with diplomas in corporate governance and international trust management, John’s career spans financial roles in Ontario, Canada (where in 2005 he also qualified as a Certified General Accountant) the Caribbean, the Channel Islands and the UK, in a wide range of sectors and organisations. A graduate in music from the University of Sheffield, John is continuing his professional education with two masters’ programmes in business and professional accountancy.

Being Yorkshire born, it is amazing to finally bring my international career back home to the region, having worked around the globe for such a diverse portfolio of clients over the past 35 years. I’m passionate about bringing my varied experience in finance to work in Yorkshire’s burgeoning screen industries, having witnessed the vibrancy of the sector and its impact first-hand, during my career in Toronto.

John Wiggins, Head of Finance, Screen Yorkshire

John Wiggins

Caroline Cooper Charles

As this year draws to a close, it’s so exciting to know that we’ll be starting the new one with these three brilliant additions to the Screen Yorkshire team - two on our board and one in the pivotal role of Head of Finance. All three are so committed to the creative industries and to supporting talent and production in the North, I know we are going to benefit immensely from their collective expertise and advice.

Caroline Cooper Charles, Chief Executive, Screen Yorkshire