Television producer and former Journal columnist Tom Gutteridge has been named as the new chair of creative development agency Northern Film and Media Ltd (NFM).
Founder of leading UK production company Mentorn Media and former North American head of FremantleMedia, Mr Gutteridge has been a member of NFM’s board since 2008, joining shortly after he returned to the North East to set up Standing Stone Productions.
He succeeds the late Sir Les Elton, who served as chair of Newcastle-based NFM from 2007 until his death last year.
The International Emmy award winner and Fellow of the Royal Television Society said: “I greatly look forward to helping oversee NFM’s work supporting the North East’s creative industries, especially television and film.
“Over the past 12 years they have achieved some extraordinary things – invested in 800 local companies and projects, leveraged nearly £100m of investment into the North East economy and helped attract numerous film and television productions to the region.
“Equally importantly, they have provided industry advice, training, contact brokering and networking opportunities to thousands of creative professionals, thereby helping to keep the lifeblood of the industry flowing.
“Happily we have seen a significant increase in production over the last few years.
“NFM has indisputably had a vital role to play in generating this success. But there is no disguising the fact that the backdrop against which these successes have been achieved is a very challenging one.
“I look forward in particular to helping NFM campaign against the current unjustifiable tilting of public funding and infrastructural investment towards London and the west of the UK.”
Welcoming Gutteridge in his new role, managing director of NFM John Tulip said: “An industry which brings at least £11m annually to the regional economy in inward investment alone, which employs so many people and which reflects the region on screen both nationally and internationally is clearly worth supporting, so I have no doubt of the continued need for the work NFM does.
“Continued cuts in public funding and the direction of resources away from the North East undoubtedly pose major challenges for us, but with Tom’s help we are committed to doing our utmost to represent the North East’s interests. We have been extremely fortunate in being able to draw on Tom’s fantastic range of experience and contacts over the past five years and I look forward to working even more closely with him in future.”