Support for the burgeoning film and television production infrastructure of Yorkshire has been given an added boost in the form of Screen Yorkshire securing the rights to develop a major new studio space, which it hopes will put the county on an equal footing with other key production centres in the United Kingdom. Those financing the project plan to repurpose over 100,000 square feet of air hangar space for film and television use. In an exclusive deal with property investors Makin Enterprises, owners of the former RAF site in Church Fenton are now able to offer the much needed infrastructure and finance for a wider range of productions.
As ever, the importance of accessibility has been considered. The studio will be easily accessible from Leeds, York and less than two hours by rail from London. The flexibility of the sight will also increase its attraction; a broad spectrum of productions needs will be met via three aircraft hangars, office space, garages, workshops, extensive parking, roadways and runways. The addition of this studio will fuel Yorkshire’s reputation as the “Hollywood of England”. Since the launch of the Yorkshire Content Fund in 2012 more than £21 million has been injected into the region’s economy, primarily through location-based dramas backed by the fund, including Peaky Blinders, Dad’s Army and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire, commented: “The opening of Yorkshire Studios is a significant landmark for the UK film and television industry. The Yorkshire content fund has enabled us to secure some incredible projects that have made great use of our existing portfolio of studio space. The lack of a larger-scale production facility however, has prevented a number of major long-term film and television productions from basing themselves here. These production hold huge potential for sustaining the industry’s infrastructure and workforce, so it became clear that securing such a site should be a priority”.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London has also spoken of his excitement regarding the acquisition: “The United Kingdom represents a tremendous draw for overseas productions thanks to its generous Creative Sector Tax Reliefs, our world class crews, locations, talent and facilities. The significant new studio space at Church Fenton is incredibly welcome news and represents a real boost (to) the UK’s existing production infrastructure and will also be an added incentive for domestic and international productions to shoot in the area and enable them to access the Yorkshire Content Fund”. Even those not associated with the industry will benefit; the space will provide hundreds of new jobs and the potential for increased tourism in the area via the screen recognition Yorkshire will experience.
Yorkshire Studios are now available for film and television production use, all studio enquiries contact: Richard Knight, Head of Production and Screen Yorkshire firstname.lastname@example.org.
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