News that the BBC will make its biggest investment in the North East in decades has been greeted by the partnership leading County Durham’s bid to become Britain’s City of Culture in 2025.
The BBC has announced that it will spend at least Â£ 25million over the next five years in the region to fund new TV shows, talent development and additional support for the creative sector. This will help ensure that infrastructure and training are in place to increase the representation of the North East on screen and create exciting opportunities for people to pursue careers in broadcasting.
The announcement coincides with the Durham 2025 campaign, which seeks the prestigious title of UK City of Culture 2025 for County Durham.
Durham County Council, with the support of its lead partner, Durham University, submitted the initial nomination on behalf of Culture Durham, a partnership of arts and culture organizations from across the region.
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Head of Durham County Council, said: âWe welcome this investment and look forward to working with the BBC and other partners to provide exciting opportunities and raise our profile as a place where the culture flourishes.
âThis announcement comes at a time when County Durham is campaigning to be the UK’s City of Culture in 2025. Previous UK Cities of Culture have developed excellent partnerships with the BBC and other broadcasters – who can forget that Hull has been added to the UK weather map? This special relationship between the BBC and the North East means that we have a platform to develop some truly extraordinary projects that showcase the talent and creativity of the region.
Tony Harrington, president of Culture Durham, said: âIn the past those who wanted to work in film or television had limited opportunities in the area, which led many to relocate to bigger cities like London or Manchester. .
âThe fact that the BBC has decided to increase its investments in the North East shows that it realizes that we have a lot more to offer, both in terms of skills and creativity, but also as a location shooting. Our diverse landscapes and heritage sites have already featured in many top movies and TV shows, from Vera and Inspector George Gently to Harry Potter, Marvel’s Avengers and 1917.
âThis investment will help create more such opportunities and promote our region to more audiences. And, if County Durham achieves UK City of Culture 2025 status, we can further harness that potential and deliver an ambitious and inclusive cultural agenda that benefits the entire region. “
Along with 19 other venues in the UK and Ireland, Culture Durham will find out if Durham’s 2025 bid has been on the shortlist of six places later this month.
The big winner of the competition, managed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, will be declared next year. The winning venue will then take over from Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021, which has so far attracted over Â£ 100million in capital investment to support cultural projects.
To find out more about the offer, visit www.durham2025.co.uk or follow the Durham 2025 social media accounts at www.facebook.com/Durham2025, www.twitter.com/durham_2025 or www.instagram.com/Durham2025_.