Plan for a new media centre in Penwith
Media enterprises hailed a new era for film and television production in Cornwall with the announcement of a £43,000 project to develop a plan for building a production and training centre in Penwith.
The Penwith Media Facility Study will assess the current and future needs of the Cornish media industry and plan a centre which meets those needs. It is being funded by local media businesses, The South West Regional Development Agency, Penwith District Council, Cornwall College and a European Objective One grant. The project also has the support of the Cornwall Film Fund and South West Screen.
Michael Wiese, filmmaker, trainer and one of the directors of Media Centre for Cornwall said: “We are obviously thrilled that the major regional agencies support and share with us a common vision of getting a media training and production facility up and running.
“I have assisted before with the start up of two similar organisations. One had humble beginnings with only 5 people and now, 25 years later, has 3,000 members and a continuing annual programme of professional-level workshops and training seminars that enhance the skills of working film and video makers.
“There is widespread talent in Cornwall and a strong desire among young people to get involved. Our aim is to enable people to live, work and train in Cornwall, and this is certainly a very positive step in that direction.”
Tim Beattie, the project manager, said, “We hope to complete the study early next year and follow it with a full-scale business plan for the building of the new centre. “The aim is to provide start-up business accommodation, production offices, post-production suites and space for screenings and exhibitions. We are also keen to take advantage of the broadband Internet facilities being planned for Penwith.
“A key part of the planned centre’s activity will be the organisation and delivery of training programmes for existing and potential workers in the media industry.
“ We have our eyes on a building in Penzance which could be adapted for our use, but we will have to await the study report before a final decision on location can be made.”
It is hoped that the centre will form the hub of a network of media facilities in all parts of Cornwall designed to serve the needs of the community as well as business.
Media Centre for Cornwall, whose directors are Tim Beattie, Andrew Edmonds, Colin Rogers and Michael Wiese, will be holding a public meeting at the Acorn in Penzance on Thursday 10th October at 7.30pm to which members and all others interested in the project are invited.
The facility study has been funded with £21,568 from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £10,000 form the South West Regional Development Agency, £5,000 from Camborne Pool Redruth College, £3,423 from Penwith District Council and in-kind contributions of £3,400 from the private sector.
The European Commission describes the role of the ERDF as follows:
Helping reduce the gap between development levels and living standards among the regions and the extent to which least-favoured regions are lagging behind
Helping redress the main regional imbalances in the Community by participating in the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind, and the economic and social conversion of regions.
For further information contact:
The Media Centre for Cornwall
Tel: 01209 611618
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD