Successful Herts, Camera, Action: Knowledge Exchange Event takes place at the University of Hertfordshire as new screen tourism campaign is launched
On Thursday 7 July Visit Herts, the University of Hertfordshire and the Hertfordshire Growth Hub welcomed over 50 representatives from the creative industries, film and TV supply chain, academia and the tourism industry to the School of Creative Arts, University of Hertfordshire.
The event, which is part of the of the ongoing Herts Camera Action! project, presented an exciting opportunity to encourage knowledge exchange and cross-sector collaboration, and further develop Hertfordshire’s position as a global leader in film and TV to attract further filming, investment and visitors to the county.
Herts Camera Action! is an £828,229 project funded by the UK Government through the Community Renewal fund. The project, which is led by Visit Herts in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Growth Hub, aims to kickstart innovation by supporting the creative industries’ supply chain, investing in creative skills and supporting the rebuild of Hertfordshire’s visitor economy. Attendees were joined by industry keynote speakers Professor Julie Newlan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Hertfordshire; Mark Douglas, Director of Visitor Experience, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter; and David Conway, Chief Financial and Operations Officer at ITN and Board Member Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to discuss the opportunities around TV and film, and how Hertfordshire can capitalise on these opportunities.
David Conway, who also chairs Hertfordshire LEP’s recently formed film and TV sector panel, updated attendees on the Film and TV Sector Action Plan. David said: “Hertfordshire is already globally renowned in the film and TV sector with its impressive portfolio of studio facilities, the associated supply chain businesses, and the expert production crew located in the county – and that offering is set to increase significantly in the medium term with further studio facilities coming onstream. Accordingly, the Hertfordshire LEP Film and TV Panel has been formed, comprising senior industry representatives, in order to further catalyse growth opportunities through targeted initiatives and investments.”
During the event Visit Herts also launched the new screen tourism destination video which will be used as part of an ongoing marketing campaign to position Hertfordshire as the number one destination for making and experiencing film in the UK. The campaign will also help to take 10 new screen tourism visitor experiences to market. These 10 exciting new products are being developed as part of the Herts, Camera, Action! project with the support of specialists at Visit Herts and University of Hertfordshire’s Business Advisors, Heritage Hub and School of Creative Arts experts.
The importance of this project was highlighted in a preview of new research commissioned by Visit Herts, which examines perceptions of Hertfordshire. With just 32% of people recognising the film and TV sector as a strength for Hertfordshire, a number which rises to 55% among Hertfordshire residents, the research stresses the need to increase awareness of Hertfordshire as a world-class destination for film and TV.
Mark Douglas comments: “We’re hugely excited about the ‘Herts, Camera, Action!’ project and our continued partnership with Visit Herts with the aim of creating a ‘Screen’ USP for Hertfordshire, showcasing the county as a screen tourism destination and the go-to location for film and TV productions. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter already attracts millions of visitors to the destination every year, and by developing more screen tourism experiences, we can expand the fantastic opportunities that Herts has to offer. By connecting businesses we will encourage longer stays and disperse tourism across the county, ultimately growing Hertfordshire’s vital visitor economy.”
A panel of sector experts, including partners and businesses involved in the Herts Camera Action project, discussed the progress to date, core themes that have underpinned the work of all partners including new technologies, sustainability, heritage and skills as well as highlighting upcoming opportunities and grants that businesses can still apply for.
Professor Julie Newlan MBE said: “The University is delighted to be involved in delivering this project with Visit Herts and the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, and we were pleased to host our partners at our School of Creative Arts. Led by a teaching team who are renowned practitioners in their own right, the School has longstanding links with the film, TV and wider creative industries that employ our graduates. Knowledge exchange is central to what we do: the needs and latest developments of the creative industries are at the heart of our teaching, but we apply our expertise just as often outside the classroom, as consultants and collaborators on a wide variety of projects. ‘Herts, Camera, Action!’ is a fantastic example of this cross-sector collaboration”.
The following opportunities are still available through the programme for businesses who operate in the creative industries, or are seeking support to develop their offer as part of the local film and TV supply chain:
Film and TV supply chain grant
As part of the Herts, Camera, Action! project, the creative industries and supply chain grants programme aims to support businesses who are already in the creative sector and supply chains for filming in Hertfordshire, as well as businesses looking to diversify into the sector, to maximise the opportunities Hertfordshire's filming industry has to offer. The programme is designed to encourage innovation in the creative industries, providing a package of support for 50 businesses. Find out more.
Creative industries CPD programme
The University of Hertfordshire offers a wealth of training and development, designed to provide opportunities for businesses and professionals to expand their knowledge and enhance their workplace effectiveness. With access to award-winning academic knowledge, expertise and resources businesses can enhance their productivity through continuing professional development (CPD) courses. Packed with valuable insights and a wealth of knowledge delivered by industry experts, the Herts Camera Action CPD programme will offer free of charge training to help upskill the creative industry workforce. It will foster knowledge exchange between industry and academia to increase innovation in training and build links with new and existing film studios, production companies and distributors. Find out more.
Developing the film-friendly offer
In addition to the Screen Tourism Development Programme, Visit Herts aims to position Hertfordshire as a film-friendly destination by developing the offer. The filming in Hertfordshire package of support includes:
- Film locations workshop supporting new and existing film locations in Hertfordshire
- Collation of crew and cast accommodation available in the county, showcasing the facilities available in proximity to studios and key film locations
- Promotion of film locations and facilities to location scouts and productions companies
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