A highlight was the North of Tyne Culture and Creative Investment Programme, the first of its kind in the UK to offer business support combined with grants, loans, and equity investment. 39 SMEs have participated in business development opportunities, 12 of whom received financial support amounting to £2.6m.
Creative UK's programmes also helped generate business growth in other parts of the country including Wakefield, Cornwall, Plymouth, and Manchester working with key partners from the BFI (funded by the National Lottery) to Manchester Growth Hub, Wakefield Council and Cornwall Council. Programmes included Games Scale Up, helping games leaders grow their businesses and compete on a global stage, Female Founders, providing intensive coaching and workshops, tackling the inequalities faced by female entrepreneurs, and Evolve, preparing screen businesses for investment with mentoring from experts covering commercial planning, financial control and investment.
Our BFI partnership programme, Filming in England, supported a record-breaking 82 feature films and 164 TV dramas to film on location in the English regions outside of London during the post-pandemic production boom, leading to economic benefits estimated at £130m creating 4,000 working days for freelancers across the country. Productions included Mission: Impossible 7, Masters of the Air, Becoming Elizabeth, Dungeons & Dragons, Indiana Jones 5, Andor, Bridgerton (Season 2), Peaky Blinders (Season 6), All Creatures Great and Small (Series 2), The Witcher: Blood Origin, House of the Dragon, The Crown (Season 5), Fast & Furious 10, Wonka and hundreds more, all of whom were able to harness the studio infrastructure, diverse locations, talented crew, and production services expertise available throughout the English regions.
Our film team committed £400k to film and high-end TV production in the regions through our West Midlands Production Fund, including D.I. Ray, the new ITV crime show set in Birmingham, Small Axe, an anthology of stories capturing the experiences of London's West Indian community between 1969 and 1982 directed by Steve McQueen, which won five BAFTAs and an Emmy nomination, Perfect Ten, which was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA, and Benediction which premiered at international festivals.