Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Getting the workforce ready for Crown Works Studios

Home / More / News / Getting the workforce ready for Crown Works Studios

Published on 6, March, 2024

Artist's impression of Crown Works Studios
Artist's impression of Crown Works Studios

Following today’s Budget announcement of Government support for the Crown Works Studios plans, the University of Sunderland is reinforcing its commitment to contributing to the development of a skilled regional workforce for the project.

The joint venture between global entertainment company Fulwell 73 and Cain International (FulwellCain Studios) is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs across the north-east.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland, said: “I am delighted that today’s budget announcement has confirmed government support for the exciting Crown Works Studios project on Wearside.

“Over the generations, the city was defined by the hard work and ingenuity of those who worked in industries such as coalmining and shipbuilding. Now, our focus is on the future as these same qualities will allow Sunderland to take its place at the heart of filmmaking, one of the country’s leading cultural exports.

“For our award-winning film production graduates – a product of courses regarded as some of the best in the county – it is a chance to fulfil their potential while remaining in, and contributing to, the north-east.

“We look forward to working with the team behind Crown Works, and other partners as we develop the skilled workforce needed to maximise this outstanding opportunity.”

Lee Hall, Head of the School of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland, said: "This is fantastic news for our students studying courses in Film ProductionScreen Performance and other media courses, but the project will bring a wealth of other opportunities. From Tourism to Law and Engineering, a project this size will require a workforce with expertise in a range of disciplines.

"The news also comes on top of growth which can already be seen in the screen industries which has been regionally driven by increased production."

The University of Sunderland runs courses related to jobs in the Film and TV production sector including;


Costume Design

Costume designers are responsible for the overall look and feel of costumes and clothing in film and TV productions. They must have an eye for detail, especially if the production is set in a specific era or location. These details make all the difference to the overall impact of the production and have delivered many iconic on-screen moments.   Think Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Cher and Dionne’s matching tartan in Clueless or the incredible Afrofuturism inspired creations, showcased in Marvel’s Black Panther.

Find out more about studying Fashion Design and Promotion at the University of Sunderland.




Despite advances in AI and CGI many productions still rely on complex physical sets and effects. Licensed Mechanical Engineers are required to ensure the safety and efficiency of complex props and special effects that move, fly, and sometimes explode.

Find out more about studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sunderland.



Lawyers that specialize in Entertainment cover a vast array of disciplines across the industry. From contract law, to negotiating creative rights issues and film distribution as well as providing advice and expertise to their clients.

Find out more about studying Law at the University of Sunderland.



As with any large commercial enterprise, keeping tight control of finances plays a critical role in the success (or failure!) of a production. With significant budgets, a large number of investors, a complicated pay roll and sometimes thousands of suppliers, accountants are involved in all areas of production. 

Find out more about studying Accountancy at the University of Sunderland.


Graphic Design

Visual storytellers have a critical role to play in the film industry and not just in branding and supporting asset design. They are also integral to the believability of the story and play just as important role in fictional worlds as they do in the real world. This could be through signage, the creation of movie specific type fonts, or the minute details on props like newspaper and packaging.

Find out more about studying Graphic Design at the University of Sunderland.


Animation and Games Art

Animation has continued to evolve and remains a major part of film production. Stop motion, modelling and computer-generated characters brought to life by talented animators have become some of the most loved stars of a diverse array of films.

Find out more about studying Animation and Games Art at the University of Sunderland.



The benefits of having an internationally recognised production hub on our doorstep will likely extend to the wider community. Like Harry Potter Studio tours, or visitors flocking to Northern Ireland to immerse themselves in Game of Thrones territory a big commercial success could bring a huge boost in tourism for the region.

Find out more about studying Tourism and Events at the University of Sunderland.