West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has announced the creation of a new Screen Industry Body that will act as “a coordinated voice for the sector and oversee a programme of activities to support the industry.”
The work of the West Midlands Screen Bureau was among the influences cited by Street in the thinking behind the new structure.
“There have been significant developments in the region’s creative economy over the last 18 months, including winning a £1.3m boost from the DCMS Creative Industries Scale Up programme and the upcoming Local Industrial Strategy, with its commitment to ‘creative content, techniques and technologies’.
“The screen sector in particular has benefited from supportive programmes such as Creative England’s Be More Birmingham event and policy roundtable, and the West Midlands Screen Bureau’s Design Labs, pilots and research.“
He also suggested that the Channel 4 bid in 2018, while failing in its objective of bringing the broadcaster’s HQ to the region, had been a catalyst in bringing the potential of the screen sector centre stage.
“The WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority) is keen to build on this momentum. Consultation with the screen sector has highlighted the need for a coordinated approach across the region, led by the industry.”
The Screen Industry Body will work closely with the region’s three Local Enterprise Partnerships and existing networks.
Creative industries specialist Suzie Norton from Zanna Creative is now consulting businesses and industry stakeholders to get the new Screen Industry body up and running over the next few months.