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Pact opens regional HQ in Leeds

UK producers’ trade body Pact has opened its Nations and Regions headquarters in the Yorkshire city of Leeds whilst unveiling a new strategy to boost regional indies.

John McVay

The Leeds office, announced earlier this year, houses Pact’s Nations and Regions team, led by Tris Payne, a former director of development at UK indie Denham Productions.

It comes ahead of the opening of commercially funded public broadcaster Channel 4’s new national headquarters in the city later this year.

The broadcaster has made a commitment to increase its production spend and network programming hours outside of London to 50%, matching the BBC’s current commitment. ITV currently produces 35% and Channel 5 10% of its programming outside London in the quotas imposed by media regulator Ofcom.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, attended the official opening of the office yesterday. He was joined by more than 100 regional producers, including Pact council members, Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan and other civic dignitaries and investment body representatives.

During the event, John McVay, CEO of Pact, outlined the firm’s new investment programme which will deliver a strategic suite of services designed to stimulate the growth and success rates of independent producers outside London.

The new initiative sees the launch of two accelerator programmes. The first, the Business Accelerator, is focused on enabling indies to better run their business from a commercial perspective.

The programme will see Pact provide a range of free services aimed at improving the sustainability and success of independent producer members’ businesses via one-to-one advice, webinars, events and white papers developedwith industry experts.

The second is the Production Accelerator, designed to help the alliance’s members adopt production best-practice standards in order to develop their slates, manage their productions effectively and build confidence with TV commissioners.

“Fully funded by Pact, our new office in Leeds marks a long-term investment with the aim of helping all our members across the UK to grow their businesses and succeed in the UK and international markets,” said McVay.

“The launch of Pact’s new Nations and Regions office in Leeds is incredibly important. Growing the production sector outside London must be a team effort and for it to be meaningful and sustainable we need to work together with Pact, our production partners and partners in the cities and regions across the UK,” added Katz.

Among those attending yesterday were Leeds-based Kay Mellor, MD of Rollem Productions, who said it was “vitally important” for Pact to have representation outside of London.


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