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The Lowry, Salford

A Snapshot of the Audio Visual Industries in the North West


BBC North West is based in Manchester with departments including News and Current Affairs, Radio and Music Factual, Religion and Ethics and Entertainment and Features, producing approximately 300 hours of regional television in the region annually. The BBC is working on substantial plans for the North West a s part of its Out of London review with a proposed large number of jobs moving to the region from five departments by 2010 and plans to develop a Media Hub consisting of an Academy, Media Institute, Media Enterprise Zone and a Children and Family Learing Centre.

Granada, also based in Manchester, is the longest continuous independent television licence holder in the UK. It produces a significant amount of network and regional programming, including Britain's longest running soap Coronation Street.

Border TV, a subsidiary of Granada, is based in Carlisle and broadcasts to North Cumbria in the North West of England and Southern Scotland. The majority of Borers's workforce is based in Carlisle, producing exclusively regional programmes.

Independent production is significant in the region. There are over 70 procuction companies in the region. Mersey TV is one of the largest independent production companies in the UK, currently producing Hollyoaks and Grange Hill.Mersey TV has also set up Conker Works, an interactive media company. Red Production Company was established in 1998 and productions have included Turn On Television, specialising in factual entertainment, documentary, music and children's programming, Libra Television, specialising in children's and education broadcast TV and Multi Media Arts.

Channel M gained the first Restricted Service Licence (RSL) in the North West, broadcasting throughout Greater Manchester since Gebruary 2000. Channel M was awarded a further four year licence from November 2003. In addition, there are seven cable and satellite companies in the region, including Channel One in Liverpool and MUTV (Manchester United's TV station).


There are four BBC local stations in the region with approximately 30 broadcast commercial radio companies, a number of which are owned by the large radio groups. There are also a number of RSLs around the region and two community radio stations developed by Radio Regen which was established in 1999 to offer radio training for the unemployed. Radio Regen is currently working to establish a national centre of excellence for community radio.


The remake of 'Alfie', starring Jude Law, was shot on location in Liverpool and Manchester, generating over £1.5 million for the local economy.

Manchester has the second highest number of screens (80) behind Greater London, with Liverpool having 47 cinemsa screens and Bolton a further 27. Cornerhouse in Manchester is one of the UK's largest regional film theatres and is the main centre for cultural provision.

The region has a number of small to mid-scale film festivals such as the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Commonwealth Film Festival, Black Screen, VIVA and the Lancaster Film and New Media Festival.


Computer games are recognised as a strength in the region. The North West, and in particular Merseyside, played a critical role in the development of the UK games industry and this is reflected in the pool of interactive software talent in and around Liverpool. Liverpool accounts for around three quarters of teh games workfoce in the region and was described in the DCMS's Creative Industries Mapping in 2002 as one of the world's most important cities for computer games.

The M62 Games Network supports the PC/Video/Mobile game industry in the North, probiding members with information about the industry, trade events and development services.

Media Training North West has commissioned research through its Game Plan initiative to explore the issues surrounding the very low levels of female employment in the games industry. The Game Plan runs skills development programmes to encourage young women to think about careers in games and to support this in getting there.


Skillset has described Manchester as an animation centre of excellence, with two of the four model studios in the UK based in the region - Cosgrove Hall whose core work is in children's animation, and HOT animation, part of HIT Entertainment, which is one of Europe's leading model animation facilities and was responsible for the development of Bob the Builder and Rubbadubbers.

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