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British Regional Agency Folds Into Creative England Organization

South West Screen attracted $86.7 million in inward investment in the last financial year.

LONDON – The name has changed but the people and projects remain the same as Bristol-based regional screen agency South West Screen has transferred all of its projects and activities to uber government-backed agency Creative England.

South West Screen originally transferred its responsibilities to distribute BFI Lottery funds to Creative England in September and has now pushed all its contracts and services to fall under the Creative England banner.

South West Screen’s iNet funding project and the iFeatures initiative along with the operation and management of Bristol’s new production facility The Bottle Yard will now fall under Creative England’s moniker.

South West Screen generated £56 million ($86.7 million) in inward investment – cash from overseas -- in the last financial year along with leveraging £3 million ($4.6 million) in matched funding from outside investors, according to its chairman Kip Meek.

“We have ensured that the resources that South West Screen has built up over many years – skilled staff, good relationships in the region and carefully husbanded reserves – are protected in the transition to Creative England, so that the South West‘s creative industries continue to be well represented, supported and championed,” Meek said.

The agency’s staff have transferred into Creative England and will continue to work out of the same Bristol office.

South West Screen’s former chief executive Caroline Norbury, instrumental in the formation of Creative England, is chief executive of the new body.

Screen West Midlands is the only other regional agency to be swallowed up by Creative England while Vision and Media will meld with Creative England next year.

Screen South, Screen Yorkshire, EM Media, Vision and Media and Northern Film & Media continue for now to operate independently of Creative England, although Creative England has taken over their responsibility to distribute the all-important lottery funding.

iFeatures, South West Screen’s microbudget filmmaking project partners include BBC Films and Skillset and has produced three feature films due for cinema release in 2012 inlcluding Alastair Siddons’s In the Dark Half, Mark Simon Hewis’s Eight Minutes Idle and Kasia Klimkiewicz’s Flying Blind.