Yorkshire to host new National Film and Television School hub

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is to open a hub in Leeds.

NFTS Leeds is part of the School’s strategy to support the growth of film and television production outside London. It is backed by Channel 4 whose new HQ is to be based in the city as well as ITV, who also have a production base in Leeds. Other supporters include BFI, Screen Yorkshire and ScreenSkills.

NFTS Leeds, which will operate from a number of locations across the city including dedicated space at ITV, will provide specialist training to meet the growing needs of film and television production in the area.

The hub is forecast to open in January 2020 with 150 students expected to enrol within the first year. Qualifications will mirror those offered by the existing NFTS Scotland facility and will include three-month certificate courses, 12 month full-time and part-time diploma courses, and short courses to provide Continuing Professional Development in film, television and games craft disciplines.

Channel 4 CEO, Alex Mahon, said: “It’s great that NFTS is opening a hub in Leeds, the new home of Channel 4’s National HQ. We’ve seen a significant influx of creative organisations committing to Leeds since we made our announcement and the addition of NFTS will create more opportunities and attract further investment.

“By working closely with the NFTS and other partners such as Leeds City Region, Screen Yorkshire and regional production companies, we can nurture local talent to meet the demands of Leeds as a creative powerhouse.”

Managing Director of ITV Studios, Julian Bellamy, said: “We are delighted to be working with NFTS on their new hub in Leeds. While increasing its global presence, ITV Studios is proud of its UK heritage and have long held a production base in Leeds.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the NFTS and other partners to support the growth of talent and meet the increasing demand for a broad range of behind-the-camera skills.”

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director, said: “Since inception, the NFTS has had a remit as the UK’s National Film and Television School to serve the whole of the UK. We have shown with the successful opening of our hub in Glasgow that there is the demand for opening hubs outside of our main base in Beaconsfield and that graduates go on to achieve great things in the local area.

“We look forward to working with our partners in Leeds and the surrounding area to make an even greater contribution to the economy through our unparalleled reputation for delivering high-calibre, job ready graduates.”

Amanda Nevill, BFI’s CEO, said: “It’s fantastic that the NFTS is coming to Leeds and giving talented young people the opportunity to learn the craft and technical film and television skills that will prepare them for a career in the industry.

“Production is booming all over the UK and Yorkshire is a shining example of a region that has really capitalised on this. But we still need thousands more skilled people to join the workforce. The new NFTS hub is not only great news for Yorkshire, but great news for the creative industries and the wider economy.”

Patrick McKenna, NFTS Chairman, said: “The School plans to make its courses increasingly accessible to students throughout the nations and regions of the UK. This exciting new initiative in Leeds marks the second phase of an ambitious programme of development following the successful opening of NFTS Scotland.”

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills, said: “The NFTS is an important partner for us across the UK and specifically in the delivery of our own plans in Yorkshire. It is fantastic to see the collaboration between all partners on the ground to develop skills and talent in this way.”