Our Friend

Our Friend in the North West: Cat Lewis

Cat Lewis (Credit: Nine Lives Media)

The £6bn post-pandemic boom in TV and film production is welcome news amid the uncertainty caused by the freeze to the BBC licence fee and the planned privatisation of Channel 4. 

The global expansion of content platforms and the UK’s fantastic reputation as a country that delivers excellent programmes means that there is more TV and film being made here than ever before. But there is a problem: we are predicted to have a shortfall of 40,000 creative-sector workers by 2025. 

Our Friend in the West: Lynn Barlow

Lynn Barlow (credit: Jon Craig)

It’s all about the “cultural dividend” in the West of England this year. It’s about identifying the sweet spots between public and private sector agendas and using creativity and culture to drive economic growth and opportunity in the region. We are off to a flying start with a newly published West of England Cultural Strategy and some welcome news about the strength and depth of our creative community (see here).

Our Friend in the North West: Sir Phil Redmond

Sir Phil Redmond (Credit: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Liverpool. The global port that Carl Gustav Jung dubbed the “pool of life”. The UK’s most-filmed location outside the capital. From Lita Roza’s No 1 hit How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? through to the Beatles; football dominance; comedy, both singular and sitcom; the backdrop for socially realistic drama, from Days of Hope and Z Cars through Blackstuff, Brookside and Hollyoaks to the BBC’s Time and Channel 4’s Help, with its Rose D’Or drama award, keeping the flame lit. 

Our Friend in the Midlands: Ed Shedd

Ed Shedd (Credit: Create Central)

The West Midlands sits at the heart of the country. It’s not just a geographical crossroads, where the nation’s canals, railways and roads meet, it’s a cultural crossroads, too. 

The historic home of Shakespeare and Tolkien, it is also the birthplace of Peaky Blinders and creative tour de force Sir Lenny Henry, backdrop to Great British Menu and The Archers, and Leamington Spa (or Silicon Spa) is a centre of global video games production. Oh, and Coventry is UK City of Culture 2021.