Fifth acquisition for Place Capital Group adds video dimension

David Smith-Milne and Daniel Kennedy

Manchester-based video production company Paper Films has been acquired by Place Capital Group (PCG).

It is the fifth corporate deal by PCG, which since formation in 2021 has acquired architect practices Grounded, Loop Systems and MCAU, and place consultancy Fourth Street, into its expanding group.

PCG is a development, management and advisory business that specialises in place making projects with mainly public sector clients, such as Housing Associations and Local Authorities.

Its work involves preparing and delivering masterplans for major estate regeneration projects. The group posted £4.5m of turnover in 2022, its first full year of trading.

Founder David Smith-Milne says: “PCG has used Paper Films’ expertise to convey our development projects and their masterplans in video format, which helps our clients, partners and their communities to better visualise our innovations far better than in written reports.”

Paper Films works with a wide range of public and private sector clients with an interest in place making and economic growth. It will continue to be run by creative director Daniel Kennedy and producer Max Howard.

Kennedy told “We have worked with David for a couple of years and he’s assembled a great team of people.”

He said the way businesses communicate, particularly having to prove they are socially responsible, has to be done in a way that connects with customers and stakeholders. Film proves an important part of that approach to storytelling.

Kennedy added: “This is a serious boost to our mission to be the go-to creative partner for developers, architects, house builders, and urban planners.

“As part of a bigger group, we will be able to expand the team and our in-house motion graphics capability to meet the future head on.

“Our new owners believe passionately that video is an intrinsic part of good place making. It helps to communicate complex issues visually, succinctly, and with impact. But it also brings the work of our clients to wider, more diverse audiences, which helps to cement relationships and understanding.”

The business was formed in 2015 when Kennedy spun out the video production services of SKV Communications (Spinoza, Kennedy, Vesey), of which he was a founder and director.

Paper Films has been tasked by Place Capital Group with creating apprenticeships for a diverse range of inner-city young people so that they can gain access to valuable work opportunities that interface with the built environment and creative industry sectors.

The acquisition deal sum is undisclosed. PCG’s legal advisers were Pannone Corporate, Paper Films were advised by accountants Beever and Struthers.