A successful North East video production company is scripting the next chapter of its growth story after exiting a five-figure investment from the North East Small Loan Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund ahead of schedule.
YourFilm produces TV commercials, promotional videos, and training films for a wide range of well-known clients, including Admiral Casino, Frank’s The Flooring Store, Home Group, the NHS, Sage, Tyre Spot and Thomson Reuters.
The Gateshead-based firm secured the investment through regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers two years ago to support its plans to scale up its business development activity and attract more and larger clients from outside the region.
Since then, it has merged with Gateshead-headquartered film and animation studio Digital Sidekick, secured a number of major new contracts, including with market-leading North East garden products manufacturer Flymo, and doubled its predicted turnover for the last 12 months to record its best-ever year.
It has also launched a new range of consultancy services including television advertising clearance advice, which it is expecting to see grow significantly this year and beyond, and it is expecting to add to its current seven-strong team during 2022.
Based at Gateshead’s Northern Design Centre, YourFilm was set up in 2005 by schoolfriends Matthew Newman and Kevin Owens, and works with many well-known clients in the North East, as well as others nationally and internationally.
YourFilm managing director Matthew Newman says: “Our goal when bringing in the North East Fund investment was to use it to put the knowledge, capabilities and scale into the business that we felt we needed to achieve our ambitions, and it’s a position that we’ve been able to reach more quickly than we’d expected.
“We’d worked successfully with the Digital Sidekick team for a number of years and our expectations that we would be stronger together have been proven correct over the last year.
“Our goal for the next few years is to continue along this growth journey, work with more big-name clients from across the world, and have all the structures and capabilities in place that we think we’ll need by the middle of the decade to achieve our long-term commercial goals.
“NEL’s backing has been absolutely crucial to the progress we’ve made over the last two years and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve anywhere near as much as we have without it.
“It gave us further confidence that our growth plans were robust enough to succeed and the capacity to try a number of different things to see which ones were going to have the biggest impact on our commercial and creative performance.”
Part of the £120m North East Fund and aimed predominantly at smaller SMEs, the £9m North East Small Loan Fund typically offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in Tyne & Wear, Durham and Northumberland.
It is designed to assist with the creation of over 1,200 new regional jobs in more than 320 SMEs over the life of the fund.
Mark Wharton, senior portfolio executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “YourFilm has made tremendous progress in a short period of time and is ready to move on to the next phase of its development.
“Investees exiting their investment relationships with us ahead of schedule is good news as it means that our growth capital is having the desired positive impact on their commercial performance, and we’ll be watching to see how YourFilm moves forward from here with great interest.”
The overarching £120m North East Fund will provide financial support for more than 600 businesses, creating around 2,500 jobs and delivering a legacy of up to £80m for further investment into the region.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.