New Indie TV and Film Development Fund Launches

New Indie TV and Film Development Fund Launches

The LEP and Screen Yorkshire join forces to support independent production companies in Leeds City Region

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) in association with Screen Yorkshire is today announcing a new funding initiative to support the Leeds City Region’s TV and film industries.

The Indie TV and film Development Fund totalling £200,000, will distribute awards of between £2,500 and £25,000, to help independent TV and film production companies to develop new content. It is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the LEP through its new Creative Catalyst programme which was established in response to Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds and broadcaster commitment to increase commissioning in the Nations and Regions.

Screen Yorkshire will lead the application and assessment process in collaboration with representatives from the LEP. The fund is open to independent film and TV production companies with a substantive base in Leeds City Region who can demonstrate a proven track record in productions that have been broadcast (nationally or internationally) and / or commercially distributed.

'Dark River' filmed in Yorkshire with investment from Screen Yorkshire. Image: Dean Rogers

The intervention comes in the wake of a two-month suspension for all production activity during lockdown and directly responds to the government’s advice earlier this week, announcing that filming can re-start, subject to producers following the new industry approved safety guidelines.

The new indie TV and film development fund has been set up to offer flexible grants to independent production companies to develop a fresh generation of original content, ready to go into production as soon as they can establish a clear plan for adopting the new safety rules.

The LEP’s Creative Catalyst programme; which will be launched more extensively later this year, is committed to ensuring that companies are well placed to continue to make high quality, innovative content and to employ a versatile and diverse workforce from across the city region.

Screen Yorkshire has been supported by BFI’s National Cluster Growth Fund using National Lottery funding to support the development and growth of the Yorkshire screen sector.

In the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, as pitching to broadcasters picks up speed, the indies will need to put themselves in prime position to be ahead of the rush of proposals from other companies from across the UK. This fund will help them deliver on that, as they take their first tentative steps back into production and begin the long road to recovery.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire

In the past two years there has been a significant shift in momentum in the sector in Leeds City Region, driven in large part by Channel 4’s relocation, and by a growing recognition from other broadcasters of the creative expertise and talent on offer in the region.

The new fund will support the development of regional companies to diversify their range of clients and de-risk their vulnerability in these uncertain times and beyond.

The fund is open for applications from Thursday May 14th, 2020. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday June 5th, 2020.

Application page