TV executive, Glyn Middleton is to join Screen Yorkshire to run its ambitious range of skills and training programmes, setting out to make the region’s creative workforce ‘the most dynamic, talented and versatile in the UK‘. The former journalist, documentary maker, and co-founder of True North, will take up the newly created role of Head of Skills from April, and will be responsible for all Screen Yorkshire’s skills activities, across all genres.
His remit will include the new, national craft grade training initiative - Centre of Screen Excellence:Yorkshire - in partnership with ScreenSkills and the National Film and Television School, as well as the diversity-based Beyond Brontes initiative, designed to offer 18 to 24-year-olds from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds a route into the region’s creative industries. He will also lead Screen Yorkshire’s successful Connected Campus programme, specifically designed to build and develop the relationship between local indies and the region’s universities.
Middleton has over thirty years’ experience working in the television industry. He co-founded Leeds-based True North from scratch and helped turn it into the biggest factual independent producer outside of London. For the last five years he has worked at Leeds Trinity University, turning raw talent into professional TV recruits.
On announcing today’s news, Screen Yorkshire CEO Sally Joynson said: “Glyn shares our ambition of making this region’s workforce the best-equipped and most dynamic of anywhere in the UK. I’m confident he can help bring together all the relevant agencies, broadcasters, employers and educators to transform the quality and quantity of those wanting to join the industry and those who want to progress further.”
Glyn Middleton added: “This is a golden moment for Yorkshire’s creative industry – inspired by the extraordinary work that Screen Yorkshire has done in attracting great films and TV dramas to be filmed here and fuelled by the arrival of Channel 4. I’ve not witnessed anything like this during the three decades I’ve worked in TV. But the boom in production – in all genres and on all platforms – will only flourish if we pool our talents to build that creative, multi-skilled workforce, brimming with talent and new ideas, making productions at an exceptionally high standard.
“I’m really excited by the programmes I’ll be running and I’d like to work with anyone, from whatever genre, who shares the same ambitious vision for what we can achieve. I know first-hand the outstanding quality that we have in this region, but if we’re going to provide an exceptional talent pipeline for producers living and working in this region long-term, we need even higher standards and even greater numbers to ensure they make their brilliant programmes in Yorkshire”.
The creative industries in Yorkshire have already welcomed Middleton’s appointment, with True North co-founder and Creative Director Jess Fowle adding: “Glyn is the perfect person for this role. He has a deep knowledge of the screen sector in the North – with first-hand knowledge of both broadcaster and indie needs and the challenges of keeping the talent pipeline effectively connected to industry. He cares deeply about making TV more diverse, representative and accessible.’’
Middleton takes over the skills remit from Caroline Cooper Charles, who remains at Screen Yorkshire and will head up its new creative talent unit which launches this year. He will also join Screen Yorkshire’s senior management team which, with the CEO and Board, helps drive and direct the company’s long term strategy and delivery plans. Independent skills advisor, Kate O’Connor, also remains with Screen Yorkshire to spearhead a new national initiative.