Accelerator launched to support a creative recovery

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Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) has announced Indielab West Yorks, a programme delivered in partnership with Indielab to support the screen production industry and boost growth across West Yorkshire.

The bespoke accelerator programme will include two strands, one for TV and one for gaming. Its exciting and innovative curriculum will include masterclasses, seminars and workshops on growth planning, the global market, evolving business models, creative leadership, investment readiness and a range of key business growth skills, giving companies high-level contacts, knowledge and skills to transform their businesses, and accelerate their growth.

The Accelerator is one strand of The Creative Catalyst, which forms part of the wider plan of support for the sector and not only demonstrates the LEP’s dedication to the creative industries but also aligns to the mayoral pledge to lead a creative new deal to ensure our creative industries are part of the broader recovery strategy.

Research conducted into the impact of Chabnel 4’s relocation by Soilsbury Research early this year showed the production sector in West Yorkshire is well-established with excellent potential for growth and would be enhanced by a catalyst in place “to help develop that critical mass”.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire said: “After working in the cultural industries for over three decades I understand the power of the sector to create jobs, skills and power regeneration. The accelerator is extremely welcome and chimes with my pledge to lead a creative new deal.

“This scheme gives us the power to give businesses a much-needed boost, which will not only help our economic recovery but will create more jobs, drive the retention of talent in the region, and provide young people from all backgrounds with new career opportunities.”

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11 said: “The Accelerator forms just one aspect of our wider commitment as a partner to the creative industries and is something we’ve been developing for some time now. The sector is strong in our region, and we know there is immeasurable potential for growth with the talented professionals that live and work here.”

Victoria Powell, Indielab’s programme director said: “We’re excited to work with the LEP to deliver this programme of support to enrich the sector across West Yorkshire. Together our combined knowledge and expertise of both the sector and the region will create an optimum partnership.

“The Accelerator will help West Yorkshire businesses in the industry focus on business growth and productivity, allowing them to promote ambitious creative ideas and enhance their understanding of investment, distribution and changing market dynamics in the sector.

“The expected outcomes and impacts of the programme include employment and turnover increase, new commissions and new distribution deals.”

The accelerator builds on the Indie TV and Film Development Fund which the LEP launched in partnership with Screen Yorkshire, which enabled content development to continue during the pandemic which unveiled a number of ambitious and innovative ideas from regional indies and generated around 942 days of work across a broad range of job roles within the sector. The accelerator programme is focussed on assisting the sector further to deliver innovative content and become more successful on a more sustainable basis.

In the context of economic recovery, the LEP has highlighted that it’s crucial to “enhance the resilience of the creative industries and support the development of content which reflects a more representative regional narrative”. It notes that Indielab West Yorks: The Creative Catalyst Accelerator “is a purposeful intervention”, which represents its relentless desire to help the region’s content producers attract higher volumes of higher value work.