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BBC News: Tencent brings popular game Candy Crush to China
China’s internet giant Tencent will launch the popular Candy Crush game on the mainland in a partnership with the game’s creator. 

The Drum: Glasgow 2014 launches £30,000 #DigitalSprint competition for businesses that can bring digital to the Commonwealth Games
Businesses have been invited to enter ‘The Glasgow 2014 Digital Sprint’, a £30,000 competition encouraging digital innovation ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Guardian: Google is building up a digital superstate, says German media boss
Mathias Döpfner, head of Europe’s largest newspaper publisher, says internet search engine is abusing market dominance.

Independent: Neil Young’s Pono music player becomes the 3rd most funded product on Kickstarter, but can you even hear the difference?
Neil Young has made headlines today with the third most successful Kickstarter of all time, raising $6.22m for his new high quality Pono music player; the music connoisseurs fine Bordeaux. 

BBC News: Men ‘giving up’ on books to watch films or go online
Men prefer to watch film adaptations of books than read the original novel, according to a new study, which found the opposite is true for women.

Mashable: Tapping Into the Emotional Side of Video Games: Developing Hope, Healing and Love
“Look at the genres women like: a romantic comedy game doesn’t exist. Few examples of a documentary game exist. What is the equivalent of a real drama game? They don’t exist.”

Develop: Training Spotlight: Falmouth University
Falmouth University in Cornwall is offering a new course, the Alacrity Falmouth programme, which begins in May 2014, focused on entrepreneurship is its answer to kick-starting a new wave of video game start-ups in the UK.

And finally, anyone who has ever played Half-Life will know what an achievement this…

Wired: Watch speedrunners complete Half-Life in 20 minutes
A team of seven players has completed the 1998 action game Half-Life in less time than it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons. What’s more, the new speedrunning record — standing at 20 minutes 41 seconds — has smashed the existing record of 29 minutes and 41 seconds by almost a third. “After almost four years of painstaking planning, theory crafting and execution, we have arrived at our final time, smashing all of our wildest expectations.”…. 

Read more daily news digests here

Market Square

Market Square, Kirkby Lonsdale (photo by Robert Viglasky)

The new BBC One three-part drama Jamaica Inn, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic gothic novel of the same name, is due to air this Easter Monday, 21 April.

Adapted by Emma Frost (The White Queen, Consuming Passion) and directed by BAFTA-winning director Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife, Five Daughters), Jamaica Inn stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Labyrinth) as Mary Yellan, Matthew McNulty (The Paradise, Room At The Top) as Jem Merlyn and Sean Harris (The Borgias, Southcliffe) as Joss Merlyn.

Set in 1821 against the foreboding backdrop of windswept Cornish moors, this highly charged, gothic romance follows Mary Yellan as she becomes entangled in a dangerous criminal world ridden with smuggling and murder.

Where was BBC drama Jamaica Inn filmed?

Although set in Cornwall, Creative England supported the production to shoot on location in a number of superb filming locations across Cornwall, Yorkshire and Cumbria, with North Light Film Studios in Huddersfield serving as the main production base.

From the initial hunt for filming locations to sourcing local crew; obtaining filming permissions and facilitating crucial road closures; Creative England ensured that all the necessary requirements were met to ensure access to the best locations and to enable a smooth shoot.

Scenes for the inn itself were shot at filming locations Crow Edge, Penistone in Barnsley. Other Yorkshire locations set to appear in the drama include the moors near Marsden and Holmfirth, St James Church in Tong, Bradford, Farnley Tyas, and Keighley.

Other key scenes were shot at Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria, where the market square car park and Monument were transformed into Altarnun village using mud and straw to cover the floor and other set builds to cover up any modern elements of the square.

The majority of exterior scenes filmed at Holywell Bay and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The unspoilt golden sand and spectacular craggy rocks have made Holywell Bay iconic as a filming location in England, and the

Mary Yellan (JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY) - (C) Origin Pictures - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Mary Yellan (JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY) – (C) Origin Pictures – Photographer: Robert Viglasky

crew of Jamaica Inn took full advantage of this, filming on the beach as well as in the sea. Bodmin Moor itself was the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier’s novel, with the Inn set within the dramatic and rugged moorland.

Jamaica Inn Producer, Dan Winch, said: “From the dramatic Cornish coastline and mystical Bodmin Moor itself, to the moors in Yorkshire and Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria; we visited some spectacular locations throughout the course of the shoot. Along the way we received terrific support from Creative England”.

Joss Merlyn (SEAN HARRIS). Photo by Robert Viglasky

Joss Merlyn (SEAN HARRIS). Photo by Robert Viglasky

Creative England’s Film Friendly Partnerships with local authorities such as South Lakeland District Council and ancillary organisations like Cumbria Tourism encourage and develop a film friendly ethos throughout the English regions, ensuring that when a production moves from one area to another they receive continuity in service and treatment.

We continually work to improve the conditions for filming in England, delivering support to productions by sourcing regional filming locations and crew, securing filming permissions and accessing studios.

For more information about filming in Yorkshire, filming in Cumbria, filming in Cornwall or any other areas in England (outside England) or to find out how we support filming in England click here

Screen Yorkshire invested in Jamaica Inn through its Yorkshire Content Fund.

jamaica-inn-filming-locationsImages courtesy of Joan Bryden photography



The major new feature film is part-funded by Creative England’s West Midlands Production Fund (WMPF) and started filming this week, with significant location work due to take place in the West Midlands. This includes the opening scene, which is the biggest action set-piece, shooting in Coventry. Additional footage will be shot in Berlin and the Isle of Man.

Image credit - Liam Daniel

Peter Firth as ‘Harry Pearce’ and Kit Harington as ‘Will Holloway’ in Bharat Nalluri’s Spooks: The Greater Good. Photo by Liam Daniel

The film stars Game Of Thrones actor Kit Harington, who spent his young adult life in Worcestershire, Zero Dark Thirty star Jennifer Ehle and Peter Firth who reprises his role as ‘Harry Pearce’ from the original hit international TV series that ran for 10 seasons. 

Alongside Pinewood Pictures, Altitude Film Entertainment and BBC Films, the film has been part-funded by Creative England’s WMPF, which invests in the production of feature films and high-end TV drama from companies based in the West Midlands, as well as from producers looking to bring significant projects to the region.

The Fund has previously supported projects as diverse as the Nativity films, the documentary One Mile Away (Best British Feature, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012) and high rating TV series Line of Duty and Dancing on the Edge.

Previously called the Advantage Media Production Fund (AMPF), it was re-launched as the West Midlands Production Fund in late 2013 and can now invest between £100,000 and £500,000 per project on a recoupable basis.

Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive at Creative England, said: “Investment in local production activity and bringing large-scale films to the region not only supports local talent and enriches the industry, but also generates jobs and brings money into the region. This is what the West Midlands Production Fund is all about – and watching Coventry and Birmingham host two full-on action set-pieces will show just what the region can deliver.”

The WMPF is supported through the European Regional Development Fund. Successful productions must demonstrate a positive impact on the region and contribute to its development as a film and TV hub.

The plot
When charismatic terrorist Adam Qasim escapes from MI5 custody during a routine handover, the Head of Counter Terrorism, Sir Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) – is blamed. Disgraced and forced to resign, no one’s surprised when Harry disappears one night off a bridge into the Thames…

With MI5 on its knees in the wake of the Qasim debacle and facing controversial reform, former officer Will Crombie (Kit Harington) is brought back to uncover the truth they feared – Harry’s still alive. He’s gone rogue, and needs Will’s help.

As Qasim prepares his devastating attack on the heart of London, Will must decide whether to turn Harry in – or risk everything by trusting the damaged, dangerous master spy who has already betrayed him once before…

Spooks: The Greater Good is directed by Bharat Nalluri (originating director of Spooks, Hustle, Life on Mars, in addition to features Tsunami: The Aftermath, Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day), written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent, shot by Director of Photography Hubert Taczanowski (The Look of Love) and produced by Ollie Madden, Jane Featherstone, Stephen Garrett for Kudos and Shine Pictures. Spooks will be released in 2015.

Find out more about Creative England’s film and production funds here.


CE_Primary_Loans_rgb_on black_smlCreative England is offering interest free business loans of up to £150,000 to support creative and digital businesses across the English regions.

The Creative England Business Loans are for small to medium-sized companies outside of London looking to develop new products, including software, applications and content for Cross Platform TV development; Healthcare; Government Services; Games and Interactive Entertainment; Business To Business; E-Learning and Mobile applications.

Creative England is offering interest free loans of between £60,000 and £150,000 per application, which will be matched 50/50 with the company sharing the development costs.

Proposals such as a mobile healthcare application, the development of a new game for tablet or mobile, or e-government content linked to a new service delivery model, may all be eligible.

Jim Farmery, Director of Business Development at Creative England, said: “At Creative England we are as ambitious about the growth of creative businesses as the talented minds and individuals that are building them. Through the Creative England Business Loans we hope to support the development of projects that may have otherwise found it difficult to secure funding and get off the ground.

“Our business support teams will also connect these businesses to ongoing support delivered through local networks and introduce them to new markets to ensure they continue to flourish.”

The Floow, an independent UK digital company based in Sheffield poised to transform the motor insurance industry with their smart phone technology, are a past recipient of a Creative England Business Loan. The loan enabled them to create eight new jobs and double their turnover to £500,000, and they forecast a £2million turnover for the next financial year. Over the next four years they expect to create 70 new jobs in Sheffield and become a global telematics exporter.

View the guidelines and how to apply here.

The Creative England Business Loans are made possible via funding from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Regional Growth Fund


Filming locations in England Puzzlewood

Puzzlewood in Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean, which appeared in Jack and the Giant Slayer

Creative England, in partnership with VisitEngland, has published a new locations doubles book called ‘This is England’ for production teams looking for the perfect place to film their next feature. It includes a variety of stunning locations from across England (outside London), and reflects the location doubles most frequently requested, including Victorian England, Europe, America and landscapes of the world and beyond.

Film locations in England range from the sprawling landscape of the Lake District, where Snow White and the Huntsman created its fairy-tale world, to a near exact replica of the White House in Essex. In Captain America, 1940s Brooklyn was recreated in Manchester and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit staged its high-speed Manhattan car chase in Liverpool’s Birkenhead Tunnel.

During 2013 alone, 800 productions were shot on location outside of London. This included major features such as Philomena, The Monuments Men and Jupiter Ascending, and TV dramas like Downton Abbey, Last Tango in Halifax and Sherlock.

Filming location doubles in England

Lavender fields in Kent doubling for mainland Europe ©Tim Gartside

This filming activity resulted in an average annual on-location spend of £62 million ($103 million) investment into England’s regional economies, creating jobs and giving local businesses such as hotels, equipment hire and catering services a boost.

With heavy-weight industry experience, the Creative England Production Services team works to create connections, source locations, improve infrastructure and make filming in England the perfect solution, from development to wrap.

Download a PDF version of the filming location doubles book

To order your hard copy of ‘This is England’, email or call 0208 324 2311

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Jaspal Sohal, Head of Games & Digital Media at Creative England, said:

Jas black and white“This is fantastic news for the British video game industry. Not only will this provide much needed support for the incredible game development talent we have in Britain, but it also reaffirms that video games are culturally and commercially equal to other creative sectors such as film and television.

“The games sector is the fastest growing creative industry in the world, today’s announcement will enable UK’s studios to be internationally competitive and help secure Britain’s place at the forefront of what will be an $87 billion a year industry by 2017.”

Creative England is supporting the burgeoning games industry in England by offering funding and businesses expertise through several investment and support initiatives including GamesLab and Greenshoots.

Sohal added: “In the last 7 months alone, Creative England has invested over £475,000 into start-up game companies with that figure set to rise to £1m by the end of 2014.”

“We have forged incredible partnerships with key platform holders and industry veterans in a very short space of time. These relationships have helped to galvanise our game development funds, and we’re seeing an incredibly high number of our investees go on to secure follow-on funding through private and corporate investments, resulting in jobs created and growth in the economy.”


Creative England’s Talent Centre in Brighton, part of the BFI NET.WORK, is helping emerging filmmakers get their first feature made at a new series of monthly events.

There will also be networking opportunities for filmmakers to make links with their fellow industry professionals, and talent showcases.

Six monthly modules will cover the feature filmmaking process from development through to production and distribution, with a mixture of talks, panels and case studies.

Read the full modules schedule.

Those speaking at the modules include Lizzie Francke, Senior Development and Production Executive at the BFI about the current filming landscape; Warp Films producer Mary Burke and Hong Khaou the writer/director of Film London Microwaves’s Lilting about their experiences getting first features off the ground; how to best approach potential partners with your project and secure development funding with Film4 Senior Development Editor Eva Yates and Creative England Senior Film Executive Celine Haddad.

Other key industry players talking at the sessions are Richard Holmes (Creative England), Fiona Neilson (Mint Pictures), Christopher Granier-Deferre (Poisson Rouge), Kate Leys (Script Consultant), and Destiny Ekaragha and Bola Agbaje (Director and Writer, Gone Too Far) with more to be announced.

The modules are aimed at producers, writers, and directors who have not yet made a film that was theatrically released and distributed in the UK.

Creative England Senior Film Executive Celine Haddad said: “Creative England and the BFI NET.WORK are committed to supporting the most talented emerging filmmakers wherever they live in the UK. Through the Brighton Talent Centre, we want to develop and guide a strong cohort of writers, directors and producers across the south of England, and help connect them to experienced members of the film industry. The fact that so many of them have very generously agreed to take part in our activities on the ground is really exciting.”

A similar programme will be launching in Sheffield in the next few weeks, with other national programmes taking place in the future.

There are also plans to share content from the sessions online.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter to

Applications are open until 28 March at 5pm. Places will be confirmed by 4 April. The first session is on 23 April (see schedule for full details).








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BAFTA has announced the return of BAFTA TV Forum: Generation Next, day-long events dedicated to inspiring and developing the careers of up-and-coming television professionals run in partnership with Creative England and Creative Skillset.

Building on the success of the first Generation Next forum in 2013, two events will be held this year: on 9 May the forum will return to BAFTA’s headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London; and a second event will be hosted by The Landing at Media City UK in Salford on 16 May.

Both events will offer masterclasses, panel discussions and Q&As aimed at giving participants an insight into the different roles in television production.

Delegates will also gain practical advice about entering and working in the industry, and take part in networking opportunities that will give them the chance to make vital professional contacts.

Generation Next is open to those working in, or passionate about forging a career in the industry, including students, runners, researchers, assistant producers or those working in a junior role across technical, craft, creative and business areas.

The Salford event is aimed at students and entry level talent who are seriously interested in a career in the television industry. Through sessions covering topics such as production management, crew and digital content, they will learn how departments work together, and the skills required to succeed.

The London event is aimed at individuals who have already worked for one or two years in production or broadcast roles and are looking to build on their existing experience. The sessions will be longer and are designed to be more practical and interactive.

To book tickets for BAFTA TV Forum: Generation Next in Salford or London, go to Anyone wishing to attend the event in London will be asked to submit a CV when applying for a ticket.  A small number of bursaries are available for both events.


International-Womens-Day-Logo_0The theme to this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8th is ‘Inspiring Change’. In today’s inter-connected, global and 24/7 world, change is a constant; and while I’m hesitant to resort to stereotypes, managing change and juggling competing priorities is a skill most women practice daily.

I’ve never understood the reluctance by some people to call themselves feminists; for me it’s central to who I am and how I operate. In the industry I work in – the creative industries – there has been substantial progress to re-balance the profile and contribution of women. Not only has the number of women working in the creative industries steadily increased, from 27% in 2009 to 36% in 2012, but there are also more and more impressive stand-out role models.

Many of the people working at the top echelons of the UK film industry are women – Tessa Ross at Film Four; Christine Langan at BBC Films; Amanda Nevill who heads up the BFI; and film producers Alison Owen, Andrea Calderwood and Elizabeth Carlson.  TV similarly has women heading up great companies such as Elisabeth Murdoch, Founder & Chairman of the Shine Group; however, although we have Jay Hunt Chief Creative Officer at C4, we’ve yet to have a woman leading any of our major broadcasters.

There are many other examples across the breadth of the creative industries, including architect Zaha Hadid; Danae Ringelmann, Founder and Chief Customer Officer at Indiegogo; Publisher Gail Rebuck; Siobhan Reddy at Media Molecule; Angela Ahrendts of Burberry; global brand Anya Hindmarch; and Creative Director Amy Morgan at Beggars Music.

This role call is important because these businesses not only generate significant revenues for the UK economy – they’re worth a massive £8m an hour and growing at a rate of 10%, are out-performing all other industrial sectors of the UK – but they also define our culture and the representation of the UK on the global stage.

Women need to be in leadership positions and across all business operations in the creative industries, so that they can shape these important drivers of our culture, society and economy. And here we still have much work to do. The number of women gamers, for example, is growing fast, yet only 14% of the video games workforce is female. Within music there is a paucity of women across the businesses; yes there are excellent strong performers; female PRs, video directors and some managers, but an absence at the very top echelons running music companies.

Commercially it is crucial to have a diverse workforce.  Ensuring that women have equal input to shape the products and services we consume and which enrich our lives is plain common sense. Women buy 50%, if not more, of all the stuff we make and the content we consume.

As importantly, is the crucial role women play in shaping popular culture; what we watch, listen to, interact with and play is utterly intertwined with who we are. Our personal and political personas are no longer so separate – the lines have blurred. Very few of us enjoy the lives of previous generations when there was home and work; where we were off and then on.  We’re “on” all the time and the digital world has made everything a personal experience – work is there at the touch of a button, and so is our personal life. There are fewer and fewer divisions between commerce and culture – the two inform the other and it’s vital that women are able to make a full contribution across the board.

The creative industries create the content and technology that shapes our view of the world. Women in powerful positions can challenge the old fashioned representations of women and present more multi-faceted, honest versions of what we’re about. We do run successful companies, we do have more to contribute than purely a ‘female perspective’, and we do make meaningful, relevant and integral contributions to business, industry and the economy. It’s only by having more women in positions of power, who call the shots, that we will be able to have a grown up conversation that both relays the complexity of our culture and gives us a greater bang for our buck.

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of Creative England


Bank of England building Bristol

Creative England’s Production Services department hosted a visit to Bristol and Bath for key film and television industry professionals based outside the region who have not shot in the city before, or haven’t done so for a number of years.

The familiarity tour, supported by Bath Film Office, Bristol Film Office and South Gloucestershire Council, forms part of a series of tours around the country being delivered by Creative England in 2014 to shine a light on England as a premiere filming destination.

Thermae Bath Spa

The tour showcased Bristol and Bath’s huge potential as a leading film and television location and production base. Industry professionals were also taken to South Gloucestershire, including the ‘Road to Nowhere‘ in Yate and Thornbury Castle.

Kaye Elliott, Creative England’s Head of Production Services, said: “Both Bristol and Bath boast fantastic locations, excellent facilities and superb crew and has huge amounts to offer filmmakers as a leading film and television location and production base.

“But there are fantastic benefits for the city itself too. Creative England estimates that filming can bring up to £32,000 a day into the local economy creating jobs for locally-based crew and business for local industries such as vehicle and equipment hire companies, hotels and restaurants.

“The long-term benefits of filming can also impact positively on visitor attractions and regional tourism.”

Redcliffe Caves Bristol

Production companies on the trip included Warp Films, Iron Box Films, Hartswood Films and Double D Productions.

The two-day tour included both location and studio recces and provided a great opportunity to show the rich and diverse selection of filming locations in Bath such as the Assembly Rooms, Thermae Bath Spa, Pump Rooms, Pulteney Bridge and the Guildhall; and in Bristol locations including Redcliffe Caves, the old Bank of England building and the University of Bristol, as well as The Bottle Yard studios.

Click here to download a PDF of the English regions’ major studios and build space