A VISUAL effects company which has worked on international hits such as Watchmen, Black Mirror and the Tom Hanks western News of the World has received a multi-million pound investment.

Bournemouth-based Outpost VFX secured the money from a private equity firm in a deal which also sees the experienced industry figure Robin Shenfield become its chair.

The visual effects studio, headquartered in Richmond Hill, said the investment would fund development of its infrastructure, company culture and proprietary platforms and fuel expansion at its four locations in the UK, Los Angeles, Montreal and the Asia-Pacific region.

The capital came from investment funds managed by YFM Equity Partners (YFM).

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Outpost said the investment would also accelerate the incorporation of machine learning in its production management, develop its training and career pathways and build a global IT architecture.

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New chairman Mr Shenfield founded the effects studio The Mill in 1990. It grew to more than 1,100 employees across the US, UK and Germany and Mr Shenfield attracted several rounds of private equity investment during his time as chief executive, before overseeing its £190million sale to Technicolor in 2015.

Duncan McWilliam, founder and chief executive of Outpost VFX, said: “I’m particularly excited that Robin will be joining us as chair. Robin founded The Mill and created arguably the world’s most successful visual effects brand, which numbers among its many awards an Oscar for Best Visual Effects for its work on Gladiator.

“His experience in balancing a creative-led culture with excellent client relationships and production management will be key to supporting Outpost’s core values as we scale.”

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Mr Shenfield said: “Duncan and the team at Outpost have created a culture that really values the contribution of artists in producing outstanding creative work. I am really looking forward to helping them develop to service the growing needs of their clients.”

Outpost has worked with the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Universal, HBO and Apple, and its other credits include Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, Jason Bourne and the 47 Meters Down shark attack thrillers.

YFM has been investing in emerging businesses in the UK since 1982, with a focus on helping them to scale quickly.

Adam Hart, investment manager for YFM, said: “Outpost has delivered impressive growth over recent years, driven by Duncan and his team’s focus on internal culture, operational efficiency, and high-quality creative output.

“With this round of funding, recent key additions to the management team, and Robin Shenfield joining as non-executive chair, Outpost is well-placed to solidify its position as an important player in the international VFX market.”

Mr McWilliam added: “Our ambition has always been to create exceptional visual effects to support our clients’ needs whilst endeavouring to create a better work/life balance for our employees and pursuing a progressive culture.

“This investment allows us to take our mission further and faster, leveraging technology advances across our four international studios, building upon our forward-thinking employee culture and investing in our talent across the board.

“While it has been a very difficult year for film and episodic markets across the globe, demand for exceptional quality visual entertainment has never been higher and competition for market share between the streamers is driving rapid growth. YFM’s investment is a reflection of the strong market fundamentals in the visual effects sector which is set for unprecedented expansion in 2021/22, and the unique qualities in Outpost’s vision for the coming years.”