social impact report & annual statement

A brighter future for creatives in West Yorkshire

New investment in the creative sector set to drive opportunities for small and medium-sized business.

West Yorkshire is one of the UK’s leading regions for creative industries, home to global and national brands including Sky Studios, Channel 4 and DAZN, plus small enterprises working across gaming, technology, digital media, TV, film and more. 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 13 businesses to continue creating new content during the pandemic. The fund supported 22 projects for local indies and freelancers working in the TV and film industry. Mark Robinson, Creative Director at Wise Owl Films, said they “were delighted” to receive a grant which had “helped with developing ideas.”

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for West Yorkshire to showcase its talent and put us firmly on the map as a hub for creativity in all its forms. By delivering a northern narrative we can tell our stories, expressing the diversity across our region and in turn, demonstrate how that enriches creative content."

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, including a business accelerator and a mentoring scheme, later this year. 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.

If you work in the creative industries and would like more information on how your business could benefit from working with the LEP, call 0113 348 1818, email BusinessSupport@the-lep.com or visit the-lep.com/Creative.

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