Mark Adair

Tees Valley Mayor supports the BBC backing Hartlepool based TV production company

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed news that Hartlepool-based TV production company Sea & Sky Pictures has been announced as North East Indie partner for the BBC’s first ever Regional Partnership Scheme.

The new scheme, announced earlier this year, will see Sea & Sky Pictures receive £15,000 to co-develop a slate of original comedy projects for BBC Comedy, working alongside Hat Trick Productions.

The move shows how local businesses are already benefiting from the BBC’s commitment to invest £25m over the next five years, its biggest investment in the region in decades. The cash will be used to fund TV production and talent development across the region’s creative sectors.

The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority previously provided a major boost to the area’s TV and film industry by supporting the £11.4m North East Screen Industries Partnership with a £4.5m investment.

This partnership will help capitalise on the BBC’s investment by helping to attract more inward investment, creating more jobs in the sector while developing and retaining local talent.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is a fantastic result for a Hartlepool-based company that was up against some stiff competition from 24 other north-east firms. West Hartlepool and Seaton Carew was the location for Ridley Scott’s first film ‘Boy and Bicycle’ and this new partnership that shows that creative spark lives on today as our TV and film sector continues to go from strength to strength.

“This also demonstrates how BBC’s pledge to boost the sector in the north-east is paying off right now for people living and working here. The extra £11.4m will help magnify the BBC’s investment and boost opportunity for everyone involved in the industry, from directors and presenters to engineers, make-up artists and set designers.

“Sea and Sky have a track record of comedy production and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the screen thanks to this opportunity.”

Adam Bouabda, managing director of Sea & Sky Pictures said: “Sea & Sky Pictures will benefit massively from this partnership because I’ve never had the opportunity to work inside a big indie so I feel like we’re getting a look behind the curtain.

“We’ve got a great slate of comedy projects that I know Hat Trick are going to love and getting to develop four of them with their experienced team is going to make for an interesting journey.”

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