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South West Screen appoints Laughton as new chairperson

South West Screen has announced that Roger Laughton, the former head of Bournemouth Media School, is to be the Regional Screen Agency’s Chairperson.
Laughton has had a distinguished career at both the BBC and ITV, initially as a Producer, and then as a Senior Executive.
He won a BAFTA for BBC 2’s 'River Journeys' in 1985, and oversaw the launch of the BBC’s daytime programmes in 1986. His final job in ITV was as CEO of United Broadcasting and Entertainment from 1996 to 1999, where one of his many successes was the establishment of Meridian as a new regional broadcaster. Laughton then became Head of Bournemouth Media School, and over a period of five and a half years he has turned it into the best academic centre for the creative industries in the country.
Bournemouth University’s Media School has now succeeded in attracting £3.5 million in funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and will become the first Centre for Excellence in Media Practice in the country.
Bournemouth Media School will continue to work with a range of partners in industry and education to further develop and implement innovative ways of studying media practice, while adding considerable value to its partner colleges and the wider education community.
Roger Laughton will continue the work of former Chair Jeremy Payne, helping South West Screen build on the great start it has made in developing the creative industries in the South West region. Payne, a former Managing Director of the HTV Group, led the agency since its formation in 2001 in establishing stronger links within all areas of the industry, promoting the region, encouraging inward investment, improving sustainability, developing talent and increasing access to film and moving image culture.
As well as looking ahead to the future, Laughton is also keen to preserve the best of the past so that the audio-visual heritage of the region can be accessed in years to come.
Looking back over the past five years, Laughton said: “Bournemouth and Poole, with the Arts Institute and the Bournemouth Media School sharing a campus at Wallisdown, are Britain’s leading centre for education and training for the creative industries.”
He added: “Too much talent currently leaves the South West for London. One of the things I want to see are new businesses springing up in the South West that will keep some of our talented graduates in the region.”
Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive of South West Screen, said: “We are delighted to welcome Roger Laughton as the second Chair of the South West Screen Board. He brings with him a wealth of industry experience and knowledge, and has helped to make Bournemouth University’s Media School the huge success it is today. Roger will play a key role in helping South West Screen support the region’s creative industries, working towards a more prosperous future.”
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