Creative England officially launches

Creative England, the national agency, which replaces regional organisations such as Screen West Midlands, to provide a dedicated support to the content industries of Film, Television, Games, and Digital and Creative Services in the English regions outside London launched today.

Overseen by the British Film Institute, Creative England will issue BFI funds to support the development of film in the English regions, and will also become the delegated authority for the distribution of National Lottery funds for film.

Creative England also this morning announced its first seven board members and three key senior management appointments. These are, Alison Owen; Founder and Managing Director of Ruby Films, Andrew Chitty; Managing Director at Illumina Digital, Bill Lawrence; Executive Director of Reel Solutions, Charles Wace; Chief Executive of the Twofour Group, Heather Rabbatts CBE, Jonnie Turpie; Digital Media Director at Maverick TV and Richard Klein; Controller of BBC Four (pictured, below, left).

Announcing the new Board members, John Newbigin, Chair of Creative England said: “I warmly welcome these seven people, who between them bring an extraordinary wealth of experience and wisdom, covering a wide spectrum of the creative industries and extending right across England. Just as importantly, each one of them brings a sense of commitment and enthusiasm for the job that needs to be done. They will help to give Creative England the best possible start in life. Over the coming months we will be adding further members to the Board, so that we have the fresh skills and fresh perspectives to keep Creative England right at the leading edge of the country’s creative industries and culture.”

The body also outlined details of new funding available for filmmakers in the English regions outside London. The new agency will, for the first time, provide joined-up support for England’s creative industries outside of London, supporting Film, Television, Games, and Digital and Creative Services.

Creative England now receives DCMS Grant-in-Aid from the BFI to support the strategic development of film in the English Regions, and is a BFI delegated body for the distribution of National Lottery funds for film.

The CE senior management has also been revealed, they are Chris Moll as Head of Talent Development, Jay Arnold as Head of Film Culture and Kaye Elliott as Head of Location and Production Services.

Caroline Norbury, Chief Executive of Creative England, said: “I am delighted to confirm Jay, Chris and Kaye as Creative England’s first senior managers, and I’m more than confident that they have all the skills required to lead our three key film priority areas. With extensive experience working in their specialist fields on a regional level, they bring a wealth of knowledge to the table, as well as their own clear vision of how Creative England can build on past successes to deliver for each area. Now the real work begins, as each of them gets their teams in place and get to work.”

The Film Culture Fund will be the first scheme to open for applications on the 17th October 2011. The Fund will aim to ensure audiences have access to a wide and diverse range of film content, to deepen and enrich audiences’ experience through education opportunities, and to integrate the unique resources of regional screen heritage into wider film provision. Funding will be aimed at organisations such as cinemas, film archives, film festivals and the non-theatrical exhibition sector.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “The BFI is delighted that Creative England is open for business. They will be crucial delivery partners for the BFI’s Forward Plan, helping to ensure we can effectively support British film industry and culture, as well as nurturing film talent. As we welcome Creative England we also recognise the contribution of the Regional Screen Agencies, who have achieved so much during the last decade and on whose work Creative England will build and expand. We very much look forward to working in close partnership.”