We are living through challenging times. The COVID-19 coronavirus has silenced our cities and many of our work-places and isolated us physically from our colleagues, our friends and our families. Many of our businesses have been disrupted, and all are adapting to change.

New content and experiences, across film and TV, drama, factual and entertainment, games, animation and XR, have never been more important. Sometimes it’s about helping us to escape; sometimes it’s about enabling us to connect and to make sense of this new way of life.

For businesses and freelancers, it is harder than ever to survive and thrive in these unsettling times. We know that for many, the work and the funding is drying up, the commissions are evaporating and some activity just isn’t possible. Many in the sector have been hit very hard.

Nobody quite knows what the future holds and we need to find agile ways to move forward, demonstrate resilience and help shape that future.

Yorkshire’s renowned and respected screen industries are supported by organisations such as Screen Yorkshire and Game Republic. Working with these and other partners, the Screen Industry Growth Network (SIGN) is here to help you navigate the uncertainties of the future.

We are beginning our work at a time when we need to think differently about business models, acquire new skills and collaborate in a way we hadn’t imagined just a few weeks ago. We are working on ways to help stabilise, stimulate and champion the screen industries of Yorkshire, the Humber and beyond.

We want to help you emerge from the current crises, with a renewed pride in what our region can offer, a renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion and a renewed ability to create innovative content and experiences. We want to ensure that you are well equipped to face the future, and can move forward with a sense of defiant optimism.

We are already listening carefully to your concerns as businesses and individuals and developing smart solutions to those concerns. Expect to hear more from us soon as we establish the best ways to help the region’s screen industry sector.

For the time being, here are some links to resources you may find useful in weathering the crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

General resources on coronavirus

BBC package of support
British Film Institute
Creative England
Creative Industries Federation
Directors UK
Directors Charitable Foundation
Disability Arts Online
Federation of Small Businesses
Gov.UK general information
IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed)
Production Guild
Screen Daily
Screenskills advice on accessing support for freelancers
Screen Yorkshire
UK Screen Alliance
York and North Yorkshire Growth Hub

Funding and financial

Arts Council England Covid-19 Emergency Fund (now closed to new applicants)
BFI Emergency Relief Fund
City of York Council grants
Equity Charitable Trust
Facebook Small Business Grants
Film and TV Charity
Gov.UK financial support for businesses
HMRC tax helpline
XR Stories – Research and Development funding for immersive storytelling