A CHANNEL 4-backed new hub for Bradford’s filmmakers was launched this evening in Little Germany.

The historic area is no stranger to film crews, having provided a backdrop for many productions over the years including Downton Abbey, Gentleman Jack, and Peaky Blinders to name just a few.

‘The Unit’ will be based at The Impact Hub, on Peckover Street, for six months before moving to Keighley Creative for the rest of 2022.

It’s a partnership between Bradford Council, Channel 4, The Impact Hub, and Keighley Creative and tonight's launch came hot on the heels of the release of Clio Barnard’s hugely successful film Ali & Ava, set in Bradford and shot in the city, largely in Holme Wood.

“The idea is that we have a space which is about developing and supporting new talent across the Bradford district,” said Nic Greenan, Head of Cultural Partnerships at Bradford Council.

“There’s the space itself, with kit and equipment, that we’ve heard when doing our research is something that filmmakers and content makers struggle to get hold of, either because of costs or accessibility or knowing what’s the right equipment to have.

“We’ve just finished doing a screen strategy for Bradford and one of the things that came out was the need for a home for content makers to be able to try and create a space that really starts to Bradford on the map as a place where talent lives, so that commissioners know talent is here, people in the industry know talent is here.”

Kevin Blacoe, Head of Partnerships and Skills at Channel 4, added: “It’s exactly the sort of thing that we came to the region for.

"We’ve got an ambition to support, develop and nurture the next generation of talent in the industry and it’s initiatives like The Unit and the wider Bradford wider screen strategy that are ways we can tangibly do that.

“People should be able to have rewarding and fulfilling and exciting careers in creative industries – in the place where they grew up.

“Moving to London should be an option, but not a requirement for being able to pursue that creative dream and ambition if you have that.

“That’s exactly what we want to try and enable and we’ll do that through supporting schemes like this, but also commissioning content and having our commissioners in the region being able to help create that network.”

An announcement was also made of a £50,000 short film content fund, split into four awards of £10,000 and 10 awards of £1,000 each.

Kevin added: “We were at The Impact Hub about six months ago for an initial meeting and just the enthusiasm and excitement from everyone who is involved was really infectious.

“I think there’s a real desire within Bradford to make sure that the talent here doesn’t get overlooked because it is an incredibly diverse, young, and creative city and it’s our responsibility to showcase that and shine a light on that.

“We’re really excited to be able to support it.”

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said it was a “tangible” example of Channel 4 investing in the city’s young talent.

She said: “It’s all about people, this investment in these people means hopefully they will produce films that are going to be globally significant, stories that will be told by Bradford, about Bradford, about the people of Bradford, that wouldn’t have otherwise come to light.

“There are so many stories, so many communities, so many positive things happening here that never get heard, this really shines a light on us and really gets those stories heard and enjoyed throughout the world.”

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin added: “Being in Little Germany, what a great spot.

"The possibilities of Little Germany are endless, I think this could be the real hub of creativity here, the buildings are so beautiful.”

She added: “When I was growing up on Howden Clough estate, thinking ‘where do I go to meet people who feel like me, who want to act or who want to tell stories?’

“My go-to place was Birstall Library, that’s the only place I could go, but this is an amazing opportunity.”