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Keighley-based Distant Future Animation Studio has won its second ‘Media Business of the Year’ award at 2019’s Keighley & Airedale Business Awards

Set up to reward successful businesses in Keighley and its surrounding areas, this year’s seventh annual event was sponsored by organisations such as Leeds-based Blacks Solicitors and the Keighley Business Club which is powered by the Keighley BID.

Once again, the recurring theme of the 'Media Business of the Year' award was very much about success and growth. Newcomers this year included Yoga Wellbeing, which won ‘Independent Trader of the Year’.

A new category was also announced – ‘Social Enterprise Business of the Year’ – which Distant Future’s Bill Beaumont has campaigned for in the past. The opportunity to apply again afforded Distant Future, which offers 2D and 3D animation to companies of varying sizes, the accomplishment of achieving the same award for two consecutive years.

“We’ve had our best year yet,” Bill Beaumont says, “with revenue up by 67% on the year before. These numbers outperform any year of trading to date, and we hope to continue growing this year as well. Two major components of this success are most definitely the investment in tech for the company and hiring the right people, combined with further investing in the development of our team.”

Distant Future's plan for success and their win at the Keighley & Airedale Business Awards has also attracted some wider recognition. Digital Enterprise LEP has recently published a special report for 2019, their ‘Digital Enterprise Top 100’, in which Distant Future is featured.

The report profiles those who have improved their performance through investment in business technology and expertise, ultimately transforming the company through a dedicated and focused business plan.

“Over the last year and a half, we created new key positions within the company, engaged various animators from around the world on various projects and replenished our studio system with some of the best tech in the industry,” Bill continues.

“But what we’ve also done is ensured our company keeps on learning, so each member of our team is currently studying towards additional certification for a specialist area within their field.”

This dedication to the recognition and nurturing of team talents as one of the most beneficial ways to upgrade a company’s skill set certainly seems to have worked for the studio.

“It’s incredible that Distant Future has won ‘Media Business of the Year’ again”, Bill Beaumont adds, “but it really is a team effort. As agile as we are, the main team is a relatively small one, and we work really hard on extensive, white-label projects with some of the region’s very best production companies. This year especially, we feel that our very hard work is really starting to pay off, putting us firmly on the Leeds City Region map, both professionally and digitally.”

The digital sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, with figures reporting a 32.9% increase in its contribution to the domestic economy (November 2018), pushing its value to over £130 billion.

And Leeds is one of the nine cities that are receiving investment in its creative sectors from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Combined with the recent news about Channel 4’s forthcoming move to the city, Distant Future is perfectly placed to be part of this exciting new chapter for the Leeds City Region.

Kate Shaw
Article by Kate Shaw
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