Sunderland university graduate puts multimillion pound fund in the frame

A Sunderland graduate has put his filmmaking talents to good use as a thank you for investment.

By Sue Kirby
Thursday, 11 April, 2019, 18:26
Mark Stuart Bell (left) and Glen Colledge of Second Draft with camera overlooking the Northern Spire Bridge.

Mark Stuart Bell and his business partnerm, Glen Colledge, who run Second Draft, have created a film for the project which supported them.

Hope Street Xchange, the University of Sunderland’s £10m centre for enterprise and innovation, received £4.9million from the Local Growth Fund – which is investing more than £270million in major capital projects across the region.

Mark Stuart Bell and business partner Glen Colledge.

The centre is designed to encourage entrepreneurial growth in the city by supporting fledgling start-ups, such as Second Draft.

The video production company was commissioned to produce a film showcasing the impact of the Local Growth Fund by using their storytelling talents to illustrate how the fund has benefited its many recipients.

Winning the contract was a major step for the fledgling business, which recently moved from the Enterprise Place at Hope Street Xchange into new offices at Sunderland’s Business and Innovation Centre (BIC).

Providing funding to major capital projects in all seven local authority areas, the Local Growth Fund aims to create jobs, boost the economy and improve the quality of life for people living and working in North East England.

Putting the finishing touches to their video, Mark Stuart Bell and Glen Colledge of Second Draft.

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Andrew Hodgson, chairman of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “More than 50 individual projects have received funding through the Local Growth Fund.

“Funding was awarded to projects that helped achieve the objectives set of out in the region’s Strategic Economic Plan, which aims to support economic growth, improve productivity and increase the number of people employed in high quality jobs.

“All the projects make the North East a better place to live and work, and the improvements will be felt for generations to come. It’s not just about improving our economy, it’s also about improving quality of life for everyone that lives here.”

With help from the Enterprise Place at Hope Street Xchange, Mark and Glen were able to launch and build Second Draft. Mark, who studied for an MA in Journalism at the University, first met Glen when they connected 8,000 miles away on the Falkland Islands.

Mark was researching a documentary and needed a collaborator and a guide. Glen, at the time, was a cameraman and editor on the Island’s TV station.

Six months later the filmmakers were working together back in the UK, before taking the big step into starting up their new business.

Mark said: “It’s a big responsibility to showcase the North East, particularly when the aim is to attract investment and create jobs.”

In Sunderland, projects supported by the Local Growth Fund include, The Beam, Vaux, the Beacon of Light and IAMP.