Screen Yorkshire, The National Film and Television School (NFTS), ScreenSkills and the BFI will today launch the UK’s first Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire (CoSE:Y) in Leeds.
New BFI Chief Executive, Ben Roberts, introduced the event at Archive, Prime Studios in Leeds, alongside Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire partners; Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills, Sally Joynson, Chief Executive Screen Yorkshire and Jon Wardle, Director: NFTS.
Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire is supported with National Lottery funding awarded by the BFI and is part of the BFI’s Future Film Skills strategy, the majority of which is being delivered by ScreenSkills.
BAFTA Award winning screenwriter Sally Wainwright delivered a keynote masterclass to the first Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire students, who today embark on training courses in film and TV crafts, including construction, costume, grip, hair and make-up, lighting, and production assistant for scripted.
The courses are designed to respond to increased demand across the UK’s booming film and television industries, particularly in Yorkshire. The courses provide work placements with local industry partners including ITV and ProVision.
BAFTA Award winning writer Sally Wainwright says: “The launch of these first craft courses are such an important initiative and it’s just brilliant for Yorkshire. There is so much creativity and passion in the region and I’m excited that it will open up many opportunities for local talent – it’s a powerful combination and the screen industry will benefit from it hugely.”
Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI, said: “This is an important part of our wider strategy to help train a wider workforce for the UK’s rapidly growing industry. For people in Yorkshire, this Centre offers a very real career pathway into much needed jobs, and also creates a blueprint for further centres around the UK – to ensure other regions can effectively capitalise on the production industries’ increasing demand for skills”
Seetha Kumar, CEO ScreenSkills, said: “The drive to commission and produce more film and television outside of London and the South East has to be matched with an investment in developing skills and talent on the ground. The Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire is an innovative response to making sure that building capacity in the nations and regions creates opportunities for a greater diversity of talent to enter and progress in the industry.
“These new courses, along with other support offered by our mentoring and bursaries initiatives, help lay the groundwork for enabling Yorkshire and Humber to expand as a home for film and TV production. It will be exciting and rewarding to follow our new recruits over coming months and we wish them all the very best.’’
The courses will be delivered by the NFTS, in partnership with Leeds College of Building, University Centre Leeds, Keighley College and the BECTU Grips and Crane Technicians Branch. The Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire is also providing mentoring, bursaries and continuous professional development courses.
Jon Wardle, NFTS Director said: “Today’s launch is a really exciting milestone that will deliver lasting change to the industry and the NFTS is proud to play our part. We are fully committed to ensuring the demand for highly trained creative workers in Yorkshire and the nurturing of future talent in the region is met with the delivery of these world class courses.”
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire says: ‘’It is fantastic news that Yorkshire has been chosen as the base for this important new initiative – one that will really push open the door for more diverse, representative talent from across the regions to train and enter the screen industries and build capacity outside of London and the South East. There’s been a lot of talk about diversity recently, but it’s action that’s needed and this is a prime example of partners working together to make that happen – and I’m proud that it is taking place here in Yorkshire.’’
Yorkshire was identified as the location for the UK’s first Centre of Screen Excellence due to the significant increase in the levels of production and growth in the number of screen businesses in the area. The region has recently hosted high-end TV productions including Gentleman Jack, Ackley Bridge, Victoria, Zero Chill, All Creatures Great and Small and The English Game as well as feature films The Duke, Downton Abbey, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Ali and Ava and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.
A new film and television studio facility and Sky Studio’s Innovation Hub are both opening in Leeds in 2020. Channel 4’s new National HQ launched in Leeds in 2019.
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