BBC North

Victoria Wood presented the BBC North Partnership Awards for Innovation, Production, Achievement, Journalism and New Writing at the BBC North Developing Talent Conference 2011 in Preston yesterday.

The conference was held at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and was attended by BBC staff, key partners and students from a wide range of universities, colleges and other organisations from across the North of England.

Now in their third year, the awards are open to all the colleges and universities who are part of the BBC North Developing Talent network.  Ahead of the BBC’s move to MediaCityUK at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester this year, BBC North Developing Talent has established relationships with over 50 colleges and universities from across the North of England and is designed to find the next generation of diverse industry talent.

Peter Salmon, Director BBC North, said: “It’s great to celebrate everyone’s achievements, not only those who’ve won the awards but all the students who’ve taken part in Developing Talent projects and work placements within BBC North. With the BBC’s move to Salford just around the corner, it’s so important we connect with creative students in the north of England and provide practical opportunities for them to get involved in a new way of working.”

Winners of the BBC North Partnership Awards include a documentary film made by the University of Chester about relationships and a “Writers’ Lab” project from the University of Bolton. Each winner received a uniquely designed award made by University of Salford design students. A full list of winners and their awards can be seen below.

As part of the conference, which focused on the theme of “Talent and Technology”, delegates attended a variety of workshops presented by industry professionals and heard from guest speakers Nick Park and Victoria Wood about their career highlights.

BBC North Developing Talent Awards 2011 winners:

The BBC Writersroom Award went to MA student Bill Grundy from the University of Salford for his ambitious and haunting screenplay, Gifted, set in the Cumbria fells in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis. Judges were looking for exciting, compelling new writers and commended all the nominees in this category for having a “confident, entertaining touch that makes you want to turn the page”.

The Production Award was won by the University of Chester and their short film Til Death Do Us Part which was praised by the judges for its revealing interviews, intelligent production and high standard of technique.

The Innovation Award was given to UCLan for their dynamic online news coverage, The Preston Cuts, which made excellent use of multimedia platforms.

The Award for Achievement went to The School of Arts, Media & Education at the University of Bolton for the “Writers’ Lab at Bolton” project. Their entry was specially commended for its reach, its high standards, its ambitions and its relevance.

The Journalism Award was presented to Leeds Trinity University College student Jenny Wotherspoon who impressed the judges with her report, Gannex, about the closure of the raincoat factory in Elland. Judges said the piece was well-rounded and combined good journalism with strong production values.

Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North, today (February 7 2011) announced the final new commission from the @North initiative – with this new commission @North has now invested £500,000 in new digital content for the CBeebies and CBBC audiences from companies across the North of England.

The new @North commission has been won by Numiko from Leeds and is specifically for the Grown Ups section of the CBeebies website.

The Grown Ups section of the site is designed to support parents and carers and Numiko will develop new content which will also offer tools to enable grown-ups to enjoy the CBeebies brand with their child. The new content by Numiko will be online later in 2011.

Numiko has already won one commission from the @North fund. They are currently developing a sound-activated game for the 2-4 year old CBeebies audience.

Peter Salmon said: “Through @North we have now invested half a million pounds into small creative Northern companies, which is an important part of BBC North’s commitment to find new opportunities for the creative economy right across the North of England.”

He added: “The aim of @North was to discover, nurture and support creative relationships specifically across the North of England that would bring the world of CBeebies and CBBC to life online and I congratulate Numiko on winning a second commission.”

The announcement coincided with the launch of the first @North commission based on the new CBeebies series Mr Bloom’s Nursery, set in a colourful, fertile allotment run by the green-fingered Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks).

The series was filmed in Manchester and on location in Stockport and combines live action and puppetry to show how young children can learn from the experience of nurturing plants and vegetables.

From learning about the importance of drinking water when it’s hot and sunny to understanding that growing takes time, Mr Bloom’s Nursery explores a variety of themes to help children understand the world around them. And they even get to pick up some simple vegetable growing tips along the way.

Sheffield-based company The Workshop created a range of interactive games designed to engage and entertain the young audience using activities linked to growing vegetables which was funded by @North.

Under the heading ‘Veggie Playtime’ the games include Compo’s Rain Catcher, Ready Veggie Pull and Speedy Weeds and can be found at bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/mrbloomsnursery.

The @North digital initiative was launched by Peter Salmon in November 2009 to encourage and support the development and delivery of interactive content for CBBC and CBeebies.

@North is a pilot project led by BBC Children’s, involving multi-disciplinary teams from across different divisions of the BBC including Future Media and Technology (FM&T) working collaboratively.

The project also represents a new model of how the BBC will engage with independent companies and digital agencies across the north of England and has been developed in partnership with the regional screen agencies – Northern Film and Media, Screen Yorkshire and Vision+Media (North West).

Joe Godwin, Director BBC Children’s, said: “@North has proved to be an excellent way of engaging with digital companies across the North of England ahead of our move to Salford later this year. It has not just been about the great new work commissioned but also about building new relationships with small companies in the creative sector right across the north of England, in addition to the companies that we already work with.”

The other companies who have also won @North commissions (which were announced last year) are Brass from Leeds, Amaze from Manchester and TH_NK from Newcastle(See Notes To Editor).

As well as direct commissioning, @North has also developed and fostered deeper relationships with companies through a range of workshops offering both creative and technical development expertise. Since the launch of the initiative more than 50 companies have participated.

Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North, today announced the first wave of companies that will be commissioned under the BBC’s @North initiative.

The @North digital initiative was launched by Peter Salmon in November 2009 to encourage and support the development and delivery of interactive content for CBBC and CBeebies. This first wave represents over half the money available, with a total amount of £500,000 earmarked for commissioning in the pilot of @North, and a further wave of commissions will be announced in the coming months.

The first companies to be commissioned are from Yorkshire, the North-East and North-West of England – Numiko and Brass from Leeds, The Workshop from Sheffield, Amaze from Manchester and Th_nk from Newcastle.

Peter Salmon, Director, BBC North, said: “The investment announced today marks a significant step towards realising the creative benefits that BBC North will ultimately deliver working in partnership with locally-based creative companies.

“The @North initiative has provided a valuable insight into how the BBC will work and engage with companies in the region to make the best content for audiences across the UK. I want to congratulate those companies whose ideas and creativity have been successful today and look forward to announcing the other companies in the forthcoming months.”

@North is a pilot project led by BBC Children’s, involving multi-disciplinary teams from across different divisions of the BBC including Future Media & Technology (FM&T) working collaboratively. The project also represents a new model of how the BBC will engage with independent companies and digital agencies across the north of England as well as with the regional screen agencies – Northern Film and Media, Screen Yorkshire and Vision+Media (North West).

Joe Godwin, Director, BBC Children’s, added: “@North has been a new way of working for Children’s and these companies have come up with some great ideas that will engage our young audiences and reflect how they consume content in the digital world.

“In addition to direct new commissions, @North has also enabled us to develop new relationships with small companies in the creative sector right across the north of England in addition to the companies that we already work with. This is an important part of our objectives as BBC Children’s prepares to move to our new home at MediaCityUK in Salford next year.”

Another key element of @North is to develop and strengthen relationships with companies beyond individual commissions. Since its launch the BBC has engaged with over 50 companies across the north of England through a range of workshops offering both creative and technical development expertise.

A networking event for games developers and web companies is being held at City Inn, Leeds on Wednesday 8 September 2010 from 5pm. The evening will be attended by representatives from the BBC, GameHorizon, Game Republic, Northern Film and Media, North West Vision and Media and Screen Yorkshire who will help facilitate introductions.

Peter Salmon and Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, one of the key partners in @North, met the three successful Yorkshire based companies at Screen Yorkshire’s offices in Leeds to mark today’s announcement of new BBC investment in the creative industries in the north of England.

Peter and Sally congratulated and discussed the project with: Andrew Brown, Creative Director from Leeds-based Brass; Jaron Ghani, founder and Technical Director of Numiko from Leeds; and Hannah Wysome, Content Producer for The Workshop from Sheffield

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to congratulate all five companies who have made it through to the commissioning stage of this groundbreaking initiative. The fact that three out of the five are from Yorkshire; two from Leeds; and one from Sheffield; is testament to the extraordinary creative talent that we have in the region.

“We are at a critical junction in the country’s economic recovery and Screen Yorkshire’s work with partners such as the BBC helps ensure that businesses in Yorkshire have the greatest chance of becoming world leaders in digital media – one of the fastest growing and rapidly developing industries in the UK.”

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