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Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson and Sophie Rundle are among the stars arriving in Birmingham today for the Premier of Peaky Blinders, which was produced in the West Midlands. The event will give another boost to the West Midlands film industry, following last month’s launch event for a £2.1m Production Fund and new Screen Bureau.

Andy Street, Mayor for the West Midlands, announced the fund for the region. Speaking at the launch event held at Birmingham University, the mayor reportedly said;

“The West Midlands Production Fund and Screen Bureau will play a key part in both of these efforts. By bringing together regional partners and industry leaders in the film, TV and digital production sectors, the West Midlands will have a much more powerful voice and a clearer direction.”

The potential for the creative and digital industries in the West Midlands is vast. These high growth and future-facing sectors not only offer huge job potential but also drive innovation and support other important industries.”

As a part of his vision for the creative and digital industries, the Mayor has also announced the formation of the West Midlands Screen Bureau, a new initiative that seeks to boost the region’s film, TV and digital production industry by increasing partnership working between industry leaders and production agencies across the West Midlands Combined Authority area. The sector will also be supported by the Creative Industries Toolkit. The Toolkit will be rolled out across the country as a national resource, which identifies the distinctive structure and personality of creative industries in each region and the socio-economic contributions they make to the UK.

The West Midlands Production Fund (WMPF) will be available for production companies to apply for through Creative England.


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Digital music production post Brexit


The creative industries are no doubt a huge importance to the world’s economy, with the music industry contributing £3.5bn to the UK economy alone. However since the results of last June’s referendum, and the pound falling in value, the UK digital music industry is said to be seriously under threat, however a disconnection of opinions has emerged.

The industry which consists of musicians, composers, songwriters, music producers, and recording studios have experienced a rise in costs from distribution to downloading. Earlier this year Apple Music increased their apps by 25%, including the cost of a download. The upside to this, is that music streaming services have become easier and more accessible than ever before, for instance, Spotify makes its catalogue of music accessible everywhere in the world. The big three Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, have reported a growth in streaming revenue, with an impressive 112 million regular paying music consumers. On the other hand however, independent artists would argue that they only see a mere fraction of a penny of this revenue, and believe streaming services are a disservice to small independent labels.

Another argument that has emerged is that Brexit would lead to artists not being eligible to apply for EU funding to support production and distribution costs, as well as international travel costs. However others argue that Brexit would lead to a resurgence of the music industry, where similar to the tax breaks given to the Film industry, tax cuts could be given to the independent music sector which in turn would be an attractive proposal to encourage foreign artists to choose the UK to do recordings and boost the sector further.

Here at SPARK our offices are offered at a discounted rate to support and nurture emerging talented individuals in the creative sector.