Mango Studio Productions trading as The Church, a collective of ambitious post-production film specialists, has been awarded a £2,500.00 grant from Open North Foundation (ONF) to meet ever-growing demand for its range of specialist services.

ONF was established in 2020 to assist businesses in the North East to recover from the ravages of the pandemic. Since then, it has widened its remit to support small and early-stage businesses that have a compelling case for support to enable them to grow at pace.

The Church collective boasts DaVinci Resolve colour grading, offline and online editing, VFX and audio post-production, sound design and music composition mixing.  It also provides post production for broadcast, streaming TV, film and games under one roof, in the beautiful surroundings of Kingsland Church Studios, Byker. High-profile clients include the BBC Channel 5 and Paramount Pictures.

James Baxter, CEO  of The Church, said: “We are delighted with the amazing growth the collective has achieved, an array of highly talented individuals with specialist skills to meet any client need.

“However, an influx of work meant an influx in data. We needed to find a central data solution to enable us to share files between the different departments at a faster speed and also a way of securing, managing and backing up the footage for the TV shows we are making.

“This would, in turn, lead to us growing the team. We researched the marketplace extensively and found the Codex media vault was the best option. It provides extremely fast data speed with enough storage space to run multiple projects at once. This will enable us to grow with the demands of work we have secured.

“The grant will help pay a significant percentage of the overall cost of the codex machine. However, we found a provider looking to sell the machine at a discounted rate.

“The ONF have been an amazing help and supported us right throughout the project. With its help, we can now look to grow our team and expand the amount of edit suite and jobs we can take on in 2024.”

All who work for ONF do so free of charge and it has secured the support of leading North East businesses and organisations dedicated to helping to rebuild the economy of the North East. All monies raised and business support services that are available to successful applicants are donated by fellow North East businesses, wider organisations and individuals.

Richard Swart, Chair of the Open North Foundation, said: “The ONF was established to support small businesses impacted by Covid but has now expanded its remit. We welcome applications from any micro or small business that is looking to grow and can demonstrate to ONF Directors that it is well run, has a clear business plan and that the grant will have a positive impact in terms of supporting growth and creating employment.

“Our grants award team could see that The Church collective comprised highly talented, passionate individuals with a clear vision and it was growing quickly. However, for any company, fast growth can offer challenges that can hold them back and our grant support is meant to unlock those hurdles. We also recognised the Church collective was one of the many flourishing creative industries based in the North East, whose skills are sought nationally and internationally and that any grant award should help lead to job creation for people in our region.”

The ONF can also provide successful applicants with a range of free support services donated by a range of organisations, including the Business Clinic at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University.

With support and guidance from industry experts at Newcastle Business School, final year undergraduate students analyse the problem they are presented with, provide a detailed report with recommendations and make a presentation of their recommendations, The additional resource and fresh thinking, provides the client with access to up-to-date research and sound recommendations they can take forward.