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Production 100, 2013 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Things are going well at True North. We’ve had real growth with the terrestrials, particularly Channel 4, and we’re also winning substantial amounts of work from the digital channels and international broadcasters. We’re particularly pleased about our programme output for the market in China.

It means turnover at True North has grown from £2m towards £13m in four years, but it’s been as much about planning and strategy as geography.

Talent remains the key challenge. We’ve got some terrific people in production and post-production in Leeds, and our Manchester operation is expanding quickly.

We see these two bases as a single creative community, with media flowing freely between the two, rather than as separate production centres. We’ve partnered with Flix at their new post facility in Salford to achieve this.

It’s a new world way to work that wouldn’t have happened before the creation of Media City. Salford Quays’ influence continues to be felt across the North, supporting a golden period for drama, with some terrific production in the North East and Yorkshire as well as the North West.

 For factual producers, it’s slightly less rosy – companies like ourselves, Nine Lives and Blakeway North are making headway, but there is still a sense that in commissioning terms regional indies have to fight hard to make their presence felt.

BBC Three’s arrival is keenly awaited.

Andrew Sheldon is creative director of True North


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