Pact UK unveils accelerator programmes alongside Leeds HQ

UK trade body Pact has unveiled two accelerator programmes for producers based outside London on the back of launching a regional headquarters in Leeds.

The Business Accelerator is focused on enabling producers to better run their business from a commercial perspective, and will see Pact offer a free range of services, such as one-to-one advice, webinars, events and white papers developed with industry experts.

The second initiative is the Production Accelerator, which is designed to help Pact members adopt production best practice standards in order to develop their slates, manage productions effectively and build relationships with TV commissioners.

The new programmes follow Pact’s previous undertaking, the Export Accelerator, which was designed to help UK producers double their export revenue by 2020. To date, more than 300 UK indie producers have taken part in the programme, with a projected sales figure of more than £53m of new business expected to come through the accelerator.

TV productions made outside of London are set to increase to coincide with Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds this summer. The broadcaster has committed to boosting its outside-London production spend and network programming hours to 50%, matching the BBC’s current commitment. ITV currently produces 35% and Channel 5 makes 10% of its programming outside London, as per quotas set by UK media regulator Ofcom.

The launch of Pact’s Leeds HQ was attended by more than 100 regional producers and Pact council members, as well as Channel 4 director of programmes Ian Katz, Leeds City Council chief exec Tom Riordan and other civic dignitaries and investment bodies

Pact CEO John McVay said: “Fully funded by Pact, our new office in Leeds marks a long term investment with the aim of helping all our members across the UK to grow their businesses and succeed in the UK and international markets.” .

Channel 4’s Katz said: “The launch of Pact’s new Nations & Regions office in Leeds is incredibly important. Growing the production sector outside London must be a team effort and for it to be meaningful and sustainable we need to work together with Pact, our production partners and partners in the cities and regions across the UK.”

Leeds-based Kay Mellor, MD of Rollem Productions, added: “It’s vitally important for Pact to have representation outside of London and I’m thrilled that their regional HQ is launching here in Leeds. Once again, it’s a validation that Leeds is a significant city in the world of media. Pact’s new HQ will be an essential facility for independent production companies here in the North, and I’m confident that their expertise and new accelerator programmes are exactly what we need to thrive.”