As one of the fastest-growing sectors, the region’s rich cultural and creative offer could unlock significant growth for the industry, talent and regional economy.
Despite being among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic – with 82 per cent suffering financially and 25 per cent fearful of survival (according to an early-pandemic West Yorkshire regional survey), businesses have innovated and adapted in response and digital provisions have made access to commissioners easier.
Through the Indie TV and Film Development Fund, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and Screen Yorkshire helped protect employment and support local talent to continue creating new content during the pandemic.
The fund created around 942 days of work for independent businesses and freelancers.
Mark Robinson, creative director at Wise Owl Films, said they “were delighted” to receive a grant which had “helped with developing ideas.”
While universities, colleges and schools across the region aim to boost the supply of the next generation of creative talent, the LEP is ramping up support for SMEs with plans to launch a range of new programmes later this year, including a business accelerator and a mentoring scheme.
Investment in the sector forms part of the LEP's £1.5 million Creative Catalyst programme, developed to help drive growth for creative businesses across the region and establish an ecosystem to support the economic recovery.
Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for West Yorkshire to showcase our talent, putting us firmly on the map as a hub for creativity in all its forms. By delivering a northern narrative, we can tell our stories, express the diversity of our region and in turn, demonstrate how that enriches creative content.”