Tech North at Kidscreen Summit 2016: Miami

8 Feb, 2016

Tech North will be joining over 55 UK companies taking part in a delegation to the Kidscreen Summit, one of the world’s largest children’s media conferences this week. We are delighted to be supporting the dozen Northern based companies who are also part of the mission by sponsoring two meeting tables for them to conduct their business, sign clients and co-producers, meeting potential investors and partners, aimed at facilitating the booming UK creative export economy. The group is being led by Greg Childs of Children’s Media Conference working alongside UKTI.

The Northern delegation includes:
Dubit (Leeds, West Yorkshire)
Factory (Altrincham, Cheshire)
Fettle Animation (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)
Fourth Wall Ltd (Bromborough, Merseyside)
Fun Crew (Southport, Merseyside)
Kidscave Entertainment Limited (York, North Yorkshire)
MCC Media (Sunderland, Tyne and Wear)
MIDAS (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
Reality Studios Limited (Barnard, Castle Durham)
Studio Liddell (Manchester, Greater Manchester)
1461 Productions (Towton, North Yorkshire)

As a child of the eighties it was the likes of DangerMouse, SuperGran, Byker Grove and Count Duckula that kept me an avid TV viewer. All of the above were created in the North. In fact, did you know that the old Cosgrove Studios in Manchester – of DangerMouse and Wind in the Willows fame – is where John Squire of the Stone Roses worked as an illustrator? I haven’t looked at Penfold the same way since learning that.

The North of England has a lot to offer this industry. The UK’s largest children’s commissioners – CBBC, CBeebies and CITV – are all headquartered on Salford Quays in Greater Manchester, along with and a wealth of animators, producers and service providers. The UK is an attractive base for companies with tax relief for children’s television programmes, access to big clients as well as being a hotbed of creative and technical talent. 

Chatting to fellow delegate Andrew Baker of Kidscave Entertainment in York, it’s clear this is a complex industry and a relatively difficult one to predict. Who can say what children will fall in love with and what will be the next global franchise? I’m sure even the producers of Frozen didn’t expect the level of success it’s had or the British success story that is Percy Pig (the world’s largest Kids TV franchise) was never a sure fire bet. 

As I immerse myself into this industry and conduct a packed schedule of meetings I Iook forward to talking to overseas companies about the benefits of a (Northern) UK base.

…and of course I’ll be leaving the scarf and gloves at home!