Brookson’s sponsorship of Creative England is designed to benefit freelance workers across the creative industries.

Thursday 7 March 2013

After another year of British film and television success has been celebrated in this season’s award ceremonies, it is obvious how important the UK’s creative industries are to its cultural life. But they are infamously competitive, and with funding in the arts being constantly tightened recent years have seen aspiring creatives struggling more and more to break into the media and entertainment sectors.

Creative England is a national agency working in the film, TV, gaming and digital sectors to nurture creativity and invest in talent. They provide support and much-needed investment to a range of projects and businesses across the country from their regional offices while promoting English talent to the world at large.

Investment is available from sources such as the Development Fund for research costs, writers’ fees and other costs involved in developing a screenplay and the Advantage Media Production Fund for SMEs in the West Midlands.

To ensure business is sustainable, however, Creative England also works towards partnerships with a range of other industries, encouraging creative content companies to see the value of their work across the whole economy.

It has even secured £5 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund to stimulate digital and media job creation in areas of high unemployment, seeking to make creative industries a real force for economic growth.

Individual talents can also benefit from support, with the film talent development team providing advice and practical help. Audience on Demand is a new initiative, allowing feature filmmakers to better identify and target their audiences using different sales and distribution models.

Creative England’s most celebrated project, however, is currently iFeatures. Supporting the development of 16 projects and three films on £350,000 budgets. The three film scripts were greenlit in December, giving a trio of production teams great opportunities to get their work off the ground.

Several major projects have been boosted by the organisation’s support, which extended to production and location support for the ITV Drama Broadchurch, starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant. The Spirit of ‘45, the new documentary by Kes director Ken Loach, received part of its funding from Creative England.

Brookson’s James Roberts said that the company had first come across Creative England at their offices in Media City, where both organisations have bases due to their alignments with freelance workers in the creative and media sector.

Since becoming their main sponsor Brookson has worked closely with Creative England, supporting events such as its Crew nights, where crew and facilities staff across the film and TV industries have the opportunity to network and build opportunities for collaboration and development in the creative media.

Hosted by Creative England’s location and production services team, over 1400 professionals have taken part in these events so far, which are held across the English regions from Pinewood Studios to Newcastle, Leeds, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester.

Freelance workers can also benefit from workshops being run by Brookson designed specifically for them. Networking is combined with business tips for both sole traders and limited companies, as well as a chance to speak to the specialist accountants about any of the tax and accountancy queries that existing and new freelancers might face. The partnership between the two organisations is bringing real benefits to freelance workers.

By Victoria McDonnell

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