West Yorkshire creative industries set to benefit from new accelerator programme

A new scheme to help bolster Yorkshire’s creative industries is launched today in a bid to capitalise on the region’s potential in the sector.

Indielab West Yorks will work to accelerate growth in both the television and gaming sectors and will be delivered by Indielab, an organisation experienced in delivering innovative support to creative businesses.

The project was launched by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) who are partnering with Indielab to support the screen production industry and boost growth across West Yorkshire

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The programme curriculum will include masterclasses, seminars and workshops on growth planning, the global market, evolving business models, creative leadership, investment readiness and a range of key business growth skills, giving companies high-level contacts, knowledge and skills to transform their businesses, and accelerate their growth.

West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin launching the accelerator.

The accelerator also aligns to the Mayoral pledge to lead a creative new deal to ensure our creative industries are part of the broader recovery strategy.

Spilsbury Research published findings in May of this year that the production sector in West Yorkshire is well-established with excellent potential for growth and would be enhanced by a catalyst in place ‘to help develop that critical mass.’

The LEP said that the combination of talented experts, businesses and impressive filming locations in the region meant there are an abundance of opportunities to further develop.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: “After working in the cultural industries for over three decades I understand the power of the sector to create jobs, skills and power regeneration. The Accelerator is extremely welcome and chimes with my pledge to lead a creative new deal.

All Creatures Great and Small is among the numerous productions to have been filmed in Yorkshire.

“This scheme gives us the power to give businesses a much-needed boost, which will not only help our economic recovery but will create more jobs, drive the retention of talent in the region, and provide young people from all backgrounds with new career opportunities.”

The move comes as Channel 4 begins its operations in earnest Leeds, as well as more recently the BBC announcement that two news teams will be relocated to Leeds.

However Ms Brabin has expressed fears that the planned Government sell-off of Channel 4 could hamper the broadcaster’s presence in the region, something ministers deny.

Sir Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and NP11 said: “The accelerator forms just one aspect of our wider commitment as a partner to the creative industries and is something we’ve been developing for some time now. The sector is strong in our region, and we know there is immeasurable potential for growth with the talented professionals that live and work here.”

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s Programme Director said: “We’re excited to work with the LEP to deliver this programme of support to enrich the sector across West Yorkshire. Together our combined knowledge and expertise of both the sector and the region will create an optimum partnership.

“The Accelerator will help West Yorkshire businesses in the industry focus on business growth and productivity, allowing them to promote ambitious creative ideas and enhance their understanding of investment, distribution and changing market dynamics in the sector.

“The expected outcomes and impacts of the programme include employment and turnover increase, new commissions and new distribution deals.”

Yorkshire has been home to some significant filming locations in recent years.

This year alone has seen Hollywood legends Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise in the region, filming scenes for the latest Indiana Jones and Mission:Impossible movies.

Cruise was seen in Levisham, near Pickering shooting for the latest spy thriller while Ford was filming for the archeology adventure series on the North York Moors near Grosmont.

Elsewhere the likes of Peaky Blinders, Gentleman Jack, The Syndicate, Last Tango in Halifax and All Creature Great and Small have all had shot scenes in the region.