VTR North opens in the new year under the joint ownership of VTR plc in London and LCL, a local company formed by regional industry professional Carl Walters. LCL will hold 80% of VTR North, with VTR Media Services keeping the other 20%.
Walters, formerly senior editor at Mezzo Studios in Leeds and whose credits include O'Shea's Big Adventure for the Discovery Channel, becomes managing director and will be joined by his former colleague Paul Peppiate, who will assume the position of creative director.
Senior animator Chris Birks has left Red Vision in Manchester to provide 3D animation. He was chief animator on the BBC's summer hit Battlefield Britain.
'We're opening a 4,500 sq ft facility in the city centre, so we can offer a far better customer service than if we were, say, on an industrial estate,' said Walters.
The start-up post company will offer video, sound and 3D post across three edit suites. VTR North will be equipped to offer on-site Final Cut Pro, Smoke, Henry and Pro Tools, and will also be able to offer other services from within VTR Media Services. The relationship means it will offer full telecine services to its clients as well as the resources it has at its immediate disposal.
'We're not really looking to tread on people's toes,' said Walters. 'We want to pull in more business to the region rather than just dilute what is already here.'
He pointed to a split across the Pennines that has seen Manchester become an established centre of post production.
'Leeds has got Yorkshire Television and indies, and the feedback I've had is that other facilities are glad we're opening because it should help keep business in the area,' said Walters.
He hinted that a fourth member of staff might join with a stake in the company, but would not say who it might be.