How Yorkshire dramas are adding up to big business for the region
FROM Emmerdale to Kes to the Full Monty, Yorkshire has been gracing cinema and television screens across the world for decades.
However it now seems that the region is providing far more than a backdrop for drama but is actually playing a leading role in the action as well.
New figures published today show that the growth of Yorkshire and Humber’s film and TV industries has outstripped that of every other part of the UK, including the South East, making the region a hotbed of cinematic and televisual excellence.
The statistics published by Screen Yorkshire show that between 2009-2015, the region’s film and TV industries generated an annual turnover of £424m across 590 creative businesses.
This represents an increase of 247 per cent against the UK average of 118 per cent, with Gross Value Added (GVA) - the benefit it brings to economy at large - increasing 242 per cent.
Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire - the organisation behind the likes of last year’s Dad’s Army movie, television series National Treasure and period drama Victoria - said that with the correct investment programme, Yorkshire’s film and TV sector could blossom even further, with estimates suggesting it could create an extra 1,600 jobs and add many more millions of pounds to the economy.
“What goes on here is great for the Yorkshire economy,” Ms Joynson told The Yorkshire Post.
“We are making a significant contribution to the UK’s creative industries and workforce.
“With the UK’s creative economy booming, this new research is highly significant for Yorkshire and these figures clearly demonstrate that the region is punching above its weight when it comes to producing world class film and TV.
“Furthermore, this growth has been achieved against a backdrop of increasing consolidation and hugely disproportionate investment on a national and local level into creative industries on the west side of England and the UK.”
The increase is based on data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and has been taken from research commissioned by Screen Yorkshire as part of a new five year Growth Plan for the screen industries in the region.
Ms Joynson said that the principal reason for the region’s strong growth in the area came from Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund (YCF), which has been backed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and which has secured
more than £157 million of new business to the region through its investment activities.
These investments include some of the UK’s top grossing independents and Screen Yorkshire has even been able to develop its own studio at Church Fenton near Selby in an old RAF hanger.
Much of Victoria was filmed in there and the studio is currently in use for the second series.
Screen Yorkshire hopes to expand the studio in the coming years.
“Yorkshire has a very strong legacy when it come to being a location for drama,” Ms Joynson said.
“There are two reasons producers come here.
“One is the availability of local money which is a major draw as drama is so expensive to produce. The content fund puts us at a competitive advantage.
“The second element is diversity of locations and ease of movement. You can get whatever you want withing about a 30 miles radius.
“We can now demonstrate how much more we can achieve for the region, the wider north and the UK economy as a whole if we can attract the right level of support and investment into the sector in Yorkshire.
“Our aim is to ensure that Yorkshire and Humber is central to this increasingly vital sector for the national economy.”