West Midlands screen sector secures £2m investment

Create Central logoCreate Central has been awarded £2m funding to help boost the film, TV and games sector in the West Midlands.

The money will be used to deliver a programme of activities designed to stimulate long-term growth and build a strong future for media production as the industry recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

The investment funding comes from three separate sources – £1m from the BFI, £500,000 from the West Midlands Combined Authority and £500,000 from Tin Smart Social, a regional social enterprise. As well as attracting film and TV production to the region and promoting the West Midlands screen sector internationally, the money will be used to support innovation, digital infrastructure, immersive storytelling and digital employability programmes.

Create Central was established in 2019 and is backed by nearly 30 leading industry figures from the region, such as Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight and Debbie Isitt, the founder of the Nativity film franchise. The organisation works in close partnership with the WMCA, the three Local Enterprise Partnerships, West Midlands Growth Company, The Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, West Midlands Combined Universities, WM5G and a variety of other public sector organisations.

Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI said: “The West Midlands film, TV and games sector has an important role to play in contributing creatively and economically to the UK screen industry, as well to the West Midlands local industrial strategy. We see areas of business such as developing digital skills alongside film, television and digital production as crucial to the growth of the UK screen sector, creating jobs and new trading opportunities in the longer term.”

Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton City Council, said: “Our region is home to some outstanding creative and cultural talent, and this new support is a much-needed boost in this difficult time.”

Think Sandwell wishes Create Central all the best for its ambitious and forward-thinking plans. To find out what our team can do to help boost your business, visit our Business Services pages.