In February 2022 we were proud to announce that The Andy Taylor Foundation, which is committed to improving social mobility within the digital media industry, had launched. Here, from the archive, is the launch press release.
The aim of this dynamic start-up Non Profit Organisation is to identify and fund high-impact programmes that open up career opportunities for young adults, driving diversity and creativity within the digital media industry and to connect some of the UK’s top, creative media organisations with talent whose potential might otherwise be untapped.
The foundation was the idea of Andy Taylor, one of the pioneers of digital media in the UK and an inspiration and mentor to many who followed in his footsteps.
Andy co-founded Little Dot Studios, in 2013 and they now employ over 500 digital experts (with over 60% under the age of 30) with clients including Gordon Ramsay, NBCUniversal and Formula E. Tragically, Andy died from a brain tumour in December 2020.
Andy was a proud son of Lancashire and the North who made his way into the media industry via the University of Nottingham, an early career as a lawyer and then cutting-edge digital teams at Endemol UK, Channel 4 and All3Media.
Andy’s wife, Lara, explained: “Andy always felt extremely fortunate to love his work. He got up every morning energised, looking forward to the day ahead. He cared deeply about letting all young people know that there was opportunity for them to achieve their goals, just as he had. Little Dot Studios created many roles for young people starting their careers and Andy wanted to help build similar opportunities elsewhere too. As his brain tumour progressed, he tasked us with implementing that ambition for him, which we are aiming to do through the foundation we have established in his name. We couldn’t be more proud or committed.”
Family, friends and colleagues of Andy believe there is no better tribute to his life than to enable others to access rewarding careers in the media industries and we are proud to be one of those groups who have taken Andy’s vision of creating this foundation and helped it realise its potential.
The inaugural grant for the Foundation will be with SharpFutures, a Manchester-based social enterprise that supports diverse talent into employment in the creative and digital sectors. The Andy Taylor Foundation talent pipeline, Foot in the Door, will be a bespoke 12-week programme for up to 10 young people with a creative media “bootcamp” and, crucially, a paid placement at one of its partner media companies in the Greater Manchester area. Partners include All3Media’s Lime Pictures and Studio Lambert North, as well as ITV Studios and LADbible Group, with more to be confirmed.
The bootcamp curriculum will equip recruits with a technical foundation and knowledge of the sector so that they can compete for permanent roles on completion of the programme with ongoing support from Sharp Futures and the Foundation. Participants will be aged 18-24 and will be reached through youth groups and via an online portal designed specifically for the programme.
Lee Stanley, CEO SharpFutures: “We are honoured to be working with The Andy Taylor Foundation to deliver this amazing opportunity for the young people of Greater Manchester. Developing talent for the creative, digital and broadcast sectors is the core aim of what we do here at SharpFutures so we are really looking forward to start recruiting for the course and work with such an exciting range of partners.”