Bradford TV production academy launched 'to create new generation of talent'

The makers of a new BBC crime drama have launched a TV production training scheme in West Yorkshire.

Screen Academy Bradford will "nurture and develop the next generation" of talent, said production company Magical Society.

The firm will begin filming new six-part BBC One detective series Virdee in the city later this year.

It has partnered with Bradford Council to set up the academy to address crew shortages and skills gaps.

Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe said the in-work training scheme would build "a pipeline of creative talent to support the show" and create opportunities for budding producers.

The academy will be headed by Ameenah Ayub Allen, producer of the Bafta-nominated film Rocks, and actor Madiha Ansari. It will offer training across all areas of TV production to an initial cohort of more than 20 people.

Ms Ayub Allen told BBC Radio Leeds the project would "give opportunities to those who haven't felt they've had opportunities before in Bradford".

West Yorkshire mayor Tracey Brabin, who is supporting the initiative, added it would "pave the way for a new generation of behind-the-scenes talent, no matter what their background or circumstances."

Bea Neumann, head of skills at Screen Yorkshire, said the scheme will "help diversify our regional work force".

Virdee, an adaptation of AA Dhand's best-selling crime novels, was announced by the BBC last month.

It will star Sacha Dhawan as Harry Virdee, a Bradford detective hunting a killer targeting the Asian community.

Screen Academy Bradford is inviting applications from anyone aged 18 or over who is not in full-time education. The deadline to apply is 30 September.

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to