A Stockport-based video production company has expanded its workforce and taken on two new clients thanks to advisory support from Business Growth Hub, part of The Growth Company.
BellyFlop TV was set up in 2008 and specialises in corporate videos and photography, including 360-degree internal photography tours of businesses which can then be directly linked through to Google Street Maps. The company also still produces some broadcast television, including Holiday of my Lifetime with Len Goodman on BBC1 and Secret Life of the Family for Channel 5.
Having created an impressive 2,000 videos in their nine-year history, BellyFlop TV’s management wanted to increase the capacity of the company and grow its workforce.
Greater Manchester’s Digital Strategy, announced by the Mayor earlier this year, includes a fund focused on getting more young people into digital industries. Therefore, Business Growth Hub encouraged Jonathan Robinson, BellyFlop TV’s managing director, to consider an apprentice.
Joshua Owens, who is working towards a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media, was recruited via Learning Unlimited on behalf of Chesterfield College.
Commenting on his new role, Joshua said: “I’ve learnt so much already through my apprenticeship at BellyFlop TV. Before starting here, I was studying at a Sixth Form college, but it just wasn’t for me – I’d rather just do something than learn how to do it in a text book!
“I wanted to be doing something more practical. It’s great being involved in all aspects of the company – from working in the office environment to handling cameras and participating in shoots.
“I’d really like to continue working with BellyFlop TV once the apprenticeship finishes, and then, hopefully, I can build a career in film or TV.”
Jonathan says: “Initially I underestimated how much time it would take to develop Josh, too. We didn’t just employ him to do menial office tasks – he’s out on the road with me all the time and I wanted to pass on all my knowledge and experience.
“As a result, I’ve got complete confidence in Josh who is now driving to locations himself and filming some quite complex situations. For example, he recently has undertaken a dementia and end of life care film, and he is now at the level where he was able to complete the film all by himself.
“Given how well things have gone with Josh, and the positive impact he’s had on the business, I will certainly be open to hiring another apprentice in the future.”
Since receiving The Hub’s support, BellyFlop TV has extended its geographical reach into Rossendale, Blackburn and Burnley, working with a school uniform supplier and a care company in the area. Jonathan also hopes to expand the business’ portfolio of specialist clients within social housing, third sector, healthcare and training, and is currently on course to increase turnover by 30% this year.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about the organisation’s extensive range of services. This and other Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.