Northern Upstart closes investment deal
Northern Upstart has received a £75k investment from the Finance for Business – North East Creative Content Fund. The investment will enable Northern Upstart to increase its capacity to produce network TV by adding to the production team. Notably, the indie has just revealed that following investment, ex-ITV production manager Samantha Stamp has joined the company.
Pact chair and ex-Hat Trick COO Debbie Manners has also invested in Northern Upstart along with a private industry backer.
Shows in the Northern Upstart pipeline include current affairs single Bootleg Booze for Current TV and an as yet unannounced major factual entertainment show featuring Sue Perkins for the BBC. The indie came to prominence with Are You Having a Laugh? TV and Disability for BBC Two in July 2010 and made Let the Stories Begin, the launch show for Sky Atlantic.
Working in partnership with Fund holder Northern Film & Media, Northstar Ventures has successfully invested £2.4 million across the creative industries, and helped to create over 54 full time jobs to date. The Fund has also leveraged over £5 million of private investment in the North East creative industries and has been praised by the CBI for its ability to ‘de-risk investment in the creative industries’.
Previous companies to benefit from the Fund include North East TV indies Bonafide Films and Meerkat Films. World Productions received £150k for the critically acclaimed BBC Two drama United (David Tennant, Jack O’Connell, Dougray Scott) and the Fund has been responsible for delivering a string of new feature films including The Liability (Tim Roth), A Song For Marion (Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave, Gemma Arterton, Christopher Ecclestone) and The Man Inside (Peter Mullan, David Harewood, Michelle Ryan).
The Finance for Business – North East Creative Content Fund is backed by the ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13. The ERDF programme is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.
Mark Murray/Judith Holder, co-founder, Northern Upstart: “This deal is a fantastic boost for Northern Upstart. Debbie and Samantha will add industry knowledge and a new creative dimension to the team. Having secured commissions from a range of broadcasters since our launch in 2009, we will use the investment as a platform to develop our slate of entertaining factual shows.”
Agnes Wilkie, creative director, Northern Film & Media: “Northern Upstart is one of the North East’s most exciting TV prospects and is an attractive investment proposition. The deal will enable the company to further its reputation for delivering distinctive entertainment shows for a range of international broadcasters.”
Michelle Cooper, Investment Manager, Northstar Ventures: “Northern Upstart is an exciting company, but in order to create new growth opportunities a business has to continually evolve and innovate. The expansion of the Northern Upstart team and the addition of Debbie Manners to the board will give it the expertise and depth to develop and produce a much wider range of ideas than previously possible. The investment from the Creative Content Fund will support the development of these ideas into growth potential for the company and reinforces our commitment to the creative industries."