Posted on 21 September 2011

Creative England has appointed Caroline Norbury as its first Chief Executive Officer.

Caroline’s role will be to develop the new organisation when it starts operating next month, becoming the first dedicated support agency for England’s creative industries outside of London.

From October, Creative England will receive DCMS Grant in Aid monies from the BFI to support the strategic development of film in the English Regions. Creative England will also become the BFI’s delegated body for the distribution of National Lottery funds for film.

Announcing the appointment, Creative England Chairman John Newbigin said: “I welcome Caroline’s appointment as CE’s first CEO. She brings to the job her wide experience as a working producer and as Chief Executive of one of the most successful of the regional screen agencies. Her consistent advocacy of closer collaboration between the English regions, her commitment to building industry wide partnerships, and her embrace of film as part of a wider world of digital media, puts her in a particularly strong position to make Creative England an effective agency to support talent, businesses and audiences, right across the country.

“That she has been chosen from an exceptionally strong field of candidates, drawn from private and public sectors, from the UK and internationally, is proof both of the importance of her role, and of the strength of her qualities.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “I’m delighted that Caroline is to fill this important role in the new landscape of public support for film in England. I have no doubt, that her experience leading a regional screen agency and her very substantial contribution to bringing the vision of a Creative England to fruition, means that she is in the best possible position to guide it through its early years. I look forward to working in close partnership with her and her colleagues.”

Caroline Norbury said: “I look forward to working with John and the Board to get Creative England out of the starting blocks. Our first big job is to make sure there is a seamless transfer of film provision for England’s rich and varied industry outside of London, and to get Creative England staff in place to deliver that service. This will be our main focus in the next few months, but I am totally committed to achieving the long term goal of transforming the provision for creative industries in England moving forward.”

Reporting to the Creative England Board, which is currently being recruited to take office on 1 October, Caroline will oversee the staffing and structure of Creative England, whilst building on strong local partnerships throughout the English regions and pursuing public and commercial funding for wider creative industry initiatives. She will lead the agency as it works to transform film culture and creative industries strategy in the English regions, described by Minister Ed Vaizey as “…helping small companies grow, helping new talent establish itself and mobilising public and private investment to grow England’s creative industries.”

Since 2002, Caroline has been the Chief Executive of South West Screen and in June 2011 was appointed as Interim Establishment Director of Creative England. Caroline has extensive experience of the media industry as a producer, director and commissioning executive. Prior to establishing South West Screen she ran First Take Films, an agency dedicated to developing new talent and new voices. Caroline is a member of BAFTA and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She studied for her first degree in Government at the University of Essex and has an MA in Cultural Leadership from City University, London.

When it launches next month, Creative England will be the first ever agency to provide joined up support to the content industries of Film, Television, Games, and Digital and Creative Services in the English regions outside London.

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