Candu Media moves into Prime location

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TELEVISION and video production company Candu Media has moved to the newly launched Prime Studios with the goal of collaborating with other firms to help to “revitalise” the industry in Leeds.

Prime Studios is a new media production space which opened in Kirkstall Road earlier this year. Candu Media, which targets the corporate and commercial sectors, was founded by Neil Shand, head of production, and Simon Anderson, business development director, just over two years ago.

The business specialises in shopping and retail television; product and service videos; training and events; and web content and viral campaigns. And it has among its customer base retailer Robert Dyas, Wakefield-based Doll Haircare and products sourcing business Ultimate Products.

Mr Shand is a former production manager for ITV in Yorkshire and in Manchester, who has among his credits Heartbeat, Emmerdale and Countdown, but lost his job when sweeping cuts were made at the broadcaster in 2009. The region’s tradition of producing some of the country’s most successful television shows ended. Today, ITV Yorkshire’s main productions from Leeds are Emmerdale and Calendar.

He said: “The ultimate goal is to revitalise and regenerate the TV and production industry in Leeds and in the region as a whole. The fallout of that was not only to lose those productions but it meant support companies that helped with these programmes were thrown to the wind.”

Being located at Prime Studios means Candu Media can work with other firms using the studios, such as post-production company The Other Planet. “We are all working together”, said Mr Shand. “There are other smaller companies at the site and we all work in synergy with one another to offer a complete service.”

The move to larger premises from its original studio in Ossett also means Candu Media is now poised for future growth – its turnover last year was £50,000 but Mr Shand expects this to quadruple this year. The business was “slightly profitable” last year, with much of any money made being re-invested.

Martin Campbell, a former colleague of Mr Shand’s from ITV Yorkshire, is the behind the launch of Prime Studios – its primary aim is to facilitate broadcast production. Mr Campbell worked as a location manager on Emmerdale and runs his own location catering and production facilities firm Campbell-Wilson.

Mr Shand said: “Our aspiration is to build on the foundations we’ve already made. We are looking to expand more into products, shopping, retail and the commercial sector.” Candu Media is also looking to win business with marketing agencies.

Mr Shand and Mr Anderson, from Ossett, went to primary school together, before being re-introduced in 2009. Mr Anderson has previous experience of running his own business, Lithium Studios, which has amalgamated with Candu Media.