A third of production staff in the north east of England have left the region to find work over the past 18 months, according to new figures from development agency Northern Film and Media.

Of the 300 production members who were registered with the agency in November 2007, 100 have since had to relocate from in and around Newcastle - mostly in the past few months.

A spokesman from the agency said the cancellation of Coastal Productions' ITV1 thriller Wire in the Blood and the end of regional shows on ITV had badly affected the production community.

“Currently, there is not a single network show on any broadcaster being produced up here,” he said. “We have an incredible amount of talent in the area and a population the size of Wales, but that is not being reflected on screen. We contribute £135m to the BBC licence fee and apart from local radio, what are we getting?”

Many freelancers had moved to Manchester to pursue other opportunities, he said.

The agency is now trying to set up producer away-days with commissioners and has received a £1.9m grant from the Regional Development Agency, which it will use to help local freelancers and indies.

The spokesman said that the forthcoming BBC revival of teen show Tracy Beaker in Newcastle would keep up to 60 people employed in the region, but that more work was needed.

“It would only take two long running returning series in the region to reinvent the North East as a thriving production community again,” he said.