Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
9:09 AM 17th July 2020

Screen Yorkshire Launches Beyond Brontës Skills Programme

Screen Yorkshire launches a new recruitment drive for its pioneering skills programme Beyond Brontës. The free, part-time, training initiative was established in 2019 to support young people from a diverse range of backgrounds and circumstances to overcome obstacles that may have prevented them from entering the screen industries.

The Beyond Brontës programme offers successful applicants with a passion for film and TV a bespoke training package to prepare for a wide range of industry job roles; from make-up and set design to accountancy, editing or research.

Beyond Brontës has won the support of the local film and TV industry, including Yorkshire Based TV Presenter Amar Latif, Meridian Line Films co-founder Necressa Swan and BAFTA Award winning director Jordan Hogg.

Yorkshire Based TV Presenter Amar Latif (Travelling Blind, River Walks) said:
“The TV and film industries need to hear from a diverse range of voices, so it’s great that Beyond Brontës is giving support for people from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Jordan Hogg, a director from Scarborough (Casualty, Ackley Bridge, Disney’s Evermoor Chronicles), who first trained through the Channel 4 Cultural Diversity Network scheme said:
“Without a little help getting in the industry, I wouldn’t be a BAFTA winner, I’d just be a disabled kid in a Victorian seaside town.”

Nacressa Swan, co-founder of Meridian Line Films, said:
“My first job in telly came from an initiative like Beyond Brontes - and 15 years on, I’m still so glad I went for it. To me, this is the best job imaginable. TV needs people from all walks of life, with different skills, voices and perspectives to make brilliant programmes and connect directly with all our audiences.’’

The six-month programme, which is free to attend, is tailored to the needs of the individual, with modules including; industry masterclasses, CV and interview workshops, mentorship and tailored one to one support.

Participants in year one of Beyond Brontës successfully completed the scheme in June 2020, with the support, input and encouragement of a wide range of broadcasters, streaming platforms, regional production companies, industry professionals and experts.

Katrina Pearson, a Beyond Brontës graduate from Bradford said:
’Beyond Brontës is a truly unique scheme that allowed me to tailor my individual development around excellent opportunities; from industry placements and mentoring, to incredible talks from industry professionals - all delivered by an incredibly supportive team.’’

Nathan Carter, a Beyond Brontës graduate from Castleford said:
"Beyond Brontës has helped me gain much more industry experience over the past year and I have learnt a great amount of new skills that I will carry with me further into my career. I am so thankful to have been a part of this scheme and wish I could do it all again."

Kudzai Chinembiri, a Beyond Brontës graduate from Leeds said:
‘’Beyond Brontës has been such an incredible experience, it has given me access to opportunities I never knew were out there. Most importantly I’ve gained a community of people I can talk to about my goals and feel understood because we are all in the same place.’’

Applications are open to individuals aged 18-24 that live in the Leeds City Region area until 12pm 14th August 2020. For full details go to

Beyond Brontës will be run for the second year by Screen Yorkshire’s programme manager Sam Fray, who said:
''Now more than ever, programmes like Beyond Brontës are vital to addressing the inequalities faced by diverse groups attempting to enter the screen industries. It is not the only tool that we need, but it's a programme that will start the conversation and encourage equity into the entry-level roles within the region.''

''COVID -19 and Black Lives Matter have highlighted the need to have an industry that represents at all levels, so that diverse stories can be represented both on and off-screen. Striving to do better and be the change is at the heart of this programme.''

Cllr Imran Khan, Deputy Leader Bradford Council and Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills says:
‘’Beyond Brontës offers opportunities for young people to use their creative skills to encourage a much-needed cultural shift across the sector. By engaging employers to recognise the important role they can play in shaping and informing the careers advice, they will ultimately be helping to adopt more inclusive recruitment practices.

The Beyond Brontës programme has seen a great success in year one and I am pleased that it will continue to provide opportunities for young people to pursue a career in the Screen sector. Creativity thrives through diversity and it is the responsibility of all of us working together to ensure that young people today are inspired to become the next generation of creative talent.’’

Terry Herfield
Terry Herfield
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and NP11 says:
“The success of the first cohort of Beyond Brontës is a testament to all those involved. It has started to create a fantastic legacy for our region; shining a spotlight on our culture and people to demonstrate what diverse talent we have here and wish to retain. Supporting our young people, from all backgrounds, and up-skilling them to fuel the talent pipeline is vital to the future prosperity of our region.”

Developing talent to foster a skilled and diverse workforce is a central part of Screen Yorkshire’s growth strategy and Beyond Brontës is part of package of regional initiatives designed to help secure continued growth in film & TV production levels.

Screen Yorkshire is working in partnership with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council to deliver Beyond Brontës with the support of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP).

Applications are open to young people aged 18 – 24 years old in the Leeds City Region area, which includes: Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale, Selby, Craven, Harrogate and Barnsley.