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18/10/2002

New screen agency for Yorkshire formed

A new regional agency supporting the film industry in the Yorkshire and the Humber areas has been formed.
Screen Yorkshire will work to ensure the best environment for both industry and audiences and support a range of activities, including training, production, exhibition, education and business development. Working throughout Yorkshire and the Humber, the new Regional Screen Agency is supported by the Film Council through the Regional Investment Fund for England and the local Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward.
Film producer Steve Abbott has been appointed as the first Chair of the organisation. Originally from Bradford, Abbott has long-standing ties and commitment to the Yorkshire region and is one of the UK's best-known producers. He and business partner Anne James were previously responsible for the management of the Monty Python group and, along with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, they founded Prominent Features and Prominent Television. He also produced the feature film 'Brassed Off', written and directed by Mark Herman and set in Yorkshire.
Abbott said: "I am delighted to have been appointed Chair for Screen Yorkshire and think that the new agency is an exciting opportunity to help audiences, script writers, film makers and students to experience and enjoy film as much as I have always done."
Screen Yorkshire's Chief Executive is to be Jo Spreckley who currently runs the Yorkshire Media Training Consortium. At YMTC Spreckley devised and established programmes which showed commitment to the development of the individuals and businesses which make up the sector in the region and she said that she was looking forward to being able to expand this work through Screen Yorkshire.
Spreckley said: "I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to establish and run Screen Yorkshire. There is a lot of fabulous work going on in Yorkshire and I am looking forward to working in partnership with others in the region and nationally to stimulate and grow our already vibrant sector."
Joining seven other Regional Screen Agencies throughout England, the organisation will work in partnership with the Film Council and other bodies to support the regional film industry and vibrant film culture in Yorkshire. Commenting on the establishment of Screen Yorkshire, Film Council Chief Executive John Woodward said: "Screen Yorkshire is a welcome addition to the already established Regional Screen Agencies that are increasingly important to the film industry and invaluable to regional film culture."
Screen Yorkshire will work in partnership with the Yorkshire Screen Commission, the local agency dedicated to attracting inward investment to the region.
(GB)
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