HC Deb 13 March 2002 vol 381 c1155W
Mr. Hepburn

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the Government are doing to encourage film production companies in the north-east. [40631]

Dr. Howells

The Film Council has undertaken a major initiative to increase the level of film activity in England under its England-wide Strategy. The most significant development within the north-east in response has been the creation of Northern Film and Media (NFM), which has developed a strategy for film in the region for the first time. Whilst NFM is responsible for activity right across the spectrum of film—exhibition and education as well as production—it is already dedicating substantial effort to supporting production companies and film making within the region. NFM also acts as a conduit between film makers in the north-east and Film Council-run film production funds and is expected to increase the take-up of these funds by north-east companies and individuals. In the next financial year NFM will directly invest over £1.1 million in the development of people, companies and projects in the north-east.