A FILM and TV industry drive could put more of County Durham on the screen and help bring 2,500 creative jobs to the region.

Durham County Council has agreed to put money into a push to invest £36m in the screen industry.

The North-East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP) aims to deliver training and jobs in TV and film locally, a Durham County Council cabinet meeting heard on Wednesday (April 6).

Amy Harhoff, director of regeneration, economy and growth, said the BBC and the North-east's 12 local authorities had committed to developing the screen industry across the region.

She said NESIP would bring benefits to the area's creative industries.

She added Durham's City of Culture bid included "ambitious screen and broadcast plans and proposals to support 2,500 jobs in creative industries".

Each of the 12 councils, including Durham, will provide an initial investment of £158,481, to be administered via the North-east Combined Authority to support key investments.

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Ms Harhoff said: "This is a partnership between the 12 authorities and Screen Industries.

"It is important that County Durham plays its full part and sees considerable resulting investments and benefits."

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said NESIP's work would support ambitions for film and TV activity, exploring "people, places and stories from the county on both big and small screen".

She added: "Importantly the delivery activity will include support for skills and training in the screen industry and allied sectors, ensuring that our people can gain access to employment in an industry with significant skill shortages and recruitment challenges.

"The plans will leverage significant creative and economic returns for the county.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Elizabeth Scott. Picture: Northern Echo.Cllr Elizabeth Scott. Picture: Northern Echo.

"This partnership is part of the BBC's commitment to increasing production outside of London by 10% by 2028.

"The BBC is seeking to ensure increased representation of communities throughout the UK across all BBC platforms.

"The NESIP will deliver investment in the screen industry of more than £36m.

"Investing in the creative industries will support our cultural offer and the development of our inclusive economic strategy."

She said investment would also stimulate the growth of new businesses.

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Cllr James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: "The partnership will deliver a range of activity including production, business development, marketing, skills and training.

"The BBC's commitment to creating new content and commissioning here in the region and the county will support further business activity and startups.

"This sector has high productivity and innovation and it is only right that we support its growth."


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