Screen Yorkshire looks to cast a new chief executive

Sally Joynson
X The Business Desk

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Screen Yorkshire’s chief executive, Sally Joynson has announced shed will retire from the business after 20 years with the organisation.

Joynson who started her career with Screen Yorkshire as the head of industry development in 2002 before becoming chief executive four years later is expected to leave in early 2022, once a successor has been found and after a period of handover.

Widely credited with relaunching and rebuilding the company as a standalone enterprise, following the closure of the regional screen agencies in 2010, she has secured almost £15m in funding to invest in content produced in the region, launching the Yorkshire Content Fund – the biggest of its kind in the UK – of which the first recipient was Peaky Blinders. Since then, the Fund has invested in over 50 productions – from feature films like Dad’s Army and Official Secrets to critically-acclaimed TV shows like Ackley Bridge and All Creatures Great and Small.

Recognised by the industry for her work, in in 2018, Joynson received the RTS Yorkshire’s Outstanding Contribution Award. As CEO of Screen Yorkshire, she worked with and supported acclaimed independent production companies based in the region, such as True North and Warp Films, establishing Yorkshire & Humber as the UK’s fastest growing centre for film in TV between 2009-2015.

In addition to this she helped found Church Fenton Studios, home to ITV’s global hit Victoria, and played a role in bringing Channel 4 to Leeds, as part of the consortium led by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership which successfully pitched for the broadcaster to relocate its main HQ outside of London.

John Surtees, chairman of Screen Yorkshire said: “There are no words that can fully do justice to our debt of gratitude to Sally for the extraordinary contribution she has made to Screen Yorkshire. Screen Yorkshire has never been stronger thanks to her passion, advocacy, resilience, and diplomacy which she has employed over the last twenty years to steer the organisation through both the good and the more challenging times. Her legacy impacts not only this organisation but the wider screen industries in Yorkshire & Humber. As we launch the process to find her successor, I and the Screen Yorkshire Board would like to wish her a wonderful retirement.”

Joynson added: “I always said that when I reached a certain age, I was going to take some time out to focus on me, and in the blink of an eye we’re here. It’s been an absolute privilege to lead Screen Yorkshire for so long and I’m immensely proud of what’s been achieved and the role we’ve played in making things happen in this most glorious part of the country.

“I leave the film and TV industry in Yorkshire in the best shape it’s been for a very long time. But it’s now time for a new era to begin – both for me and for Screen Yorkshire. I’m looking forward to taking some time out, concentrating on spending time with my family and looking at new opportunities in non-executive roles when the time is right.”