360 Production: Nine jobs lost at Londonderry TV company

Derry Science park
Image caption The company also employs a number of freelance workers

Nine staff at a television company in Derry have been told they have lost their jobs.

360 Production, set up in 2009, makes programmes for broadcasters such as the BBC, Sky and Channel 5.

A company director said the redundancies are caused by a lack of new commissions but that there were no plans to close the company.

It has played a leading role in bringing Northern Ireland-produced content to a global market.

Committed

The Birth of the Empire: The East India Company, presented by historian Dan Snow, James May's Things You Need To Know and Digging for Britain on BBC4 are all 360 Productions programmes .

The firm was bought over by a London-based media company called Rare TV last year and moved to a new science park at Fort George in the city.

Last month staff were served with redundancy notices.

Company director Mark Wright said said they were committed to securing future output in the region but would not confirm the number of staff that had been affected.

However the BBC understands the figure is nine, which would be the majority of the workforce.

'Come back strongly'

The jobs promotion organisation Invest NI told the BBC that 360 Production has been offered a total of £192,035 of support since 2009, of which £114,311 has been drawn down.

NI Screen, the government-backed agency for the film, television and digital content industry, confirmed that it also funded work by 360 Production.

A spokeswoman for NI Screen said they were aware of the difficulties at the company and was supporting them as much as possible.

"Given the nature of the television industry most people do work on a freelance basis and steady work is never guaranteed. We really believe that 360 Production will come back strongly and, as business picks up, they will be in a position to rehire soon."

Last year, the Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster announced a £42.8m fund to boost the TV and film industry in Northern Ireland.