Screen tunes in to expansion

Screen Tunes in to Expansion

Leeds-based Screen Network is tuning in to nationwide expansion after securing a “significant” equity investment to roll out its TV network service to shopping centres nationwide.

The Company has persuaded investors to back its plans after demonstrating its viability through its current pilot at The White Rose Centre in Leeds.

One of the backers is Tadcaster-based entrepreneur Jim Walsh, who has made several major investments in Yorkshire businesses after selling his pub chain, Commer Inns, to the Punch Group for £19m.

Screen Network the trading name for Freelance Media Ltd, provides shoppers with continuous screen content including local and national advertising, features, news and traffic information, on plasma and large LED screens.

Following a demonstration of the Screen Network concept at The White Rose Centre, the funding will allow the company to roll out its service to a further seven shopping centres in the UK in 2003, increasing the network’s total audience to more than 2.5m.

Mr Walsh’s Commer Investment Fund typically aims to invest between £250,000 and £500,000 in companies requiring development capital.

Screen Network is the fund’s fourth major investment project in the last 12 months.

Others include software company Nucleus Data, The Tadcaster Pub Company and the management buyout of Leeds-based Bullet Point Presentations.

Mr Walsh said: “ We have been involved with Screen Network for some time, and during this period we have been impressed by the company’s product, management and focus.

“We believe that there is due to be a significant change in the focus of the media industry and that Screen Network is now in a position to capitalise on these changes.”

John Harrison, managing director of Screen Network, said: “Until now the business has largely been funded by the company’s directors.

However, in order to expand into the significant number of shopping centres we have identified, we now require funding beyond our own resources.”

25th January 2003

Yorkshire Evening Post
Summit Alpha
Kit Hunter Gordon

Zac Barratt

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