UK Government announces £500M scheme to boost film and TV production
The funding is to help film and TV producers who have been struggling to get insurance due to the Covid-19 outbreak
The British film and television industry has taken a drastic hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, with production unable to be carried out, first due to quarantine measures and now an inability to get insurance.
On July 28, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced a £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme that aims to restart TV and film development that had ground to a halt by this lack of available insurance.
Before this, it was almost impossible for production companies to secure insurance. This was because there were no policies that would cover coronavirus-related losses caused by cast and crew illnesses, filming delays or other disruptions due to the virus.
The money from the scheme will give the productions confidence to proceed, knowing that they will have financial support even if losses are incurred due to the Coronavirus.
“From award-winning dramas to iconic comedies and revered documentaries, the UK makes the films and TV shows the world can’t wait to watch,” Dowden said about the new scheme. “Today’s announcement means more clapperboards snapping into action in studios across Belfast, Glasgow, Cardiff, Watford and many more.”
According to the UK government, the film and TV production industry creates over 180,000 jobs and contributes over £12 million annually to the country’s economy. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said he hoped that this scheme will help protect “tens of thousands of jobs” in the industry.
“The UK’s film and TV industry is the envy of the world, and it’s vital that productions get the help they need to restart as part of our plan to kickstart jobs following the lockdown,” he added.
The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will be available to all productions, as long as at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK. The money is estimated to apply to and support over 70% of the Film and TV market to the end of the year, although the government did stipulate that successful grant applicants will need an “innovative plan for how they will operate and be sustainable for the remainder of this financial year.”
In addition to the Restart Scheme, the UK government has also defined how companies can apply for £880 million in grants as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. At £1.57 billion, the fund represents the government’s largest-ever one-off investment in the art and culture sector.
The fund has also set aside £3 million to protect important cultural assets and to make sure that arts and culture play a vital role in the growth of the country’s economy moving forward.
The money will be managed and distributed by the British Film Institute, Historic England, Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as a new independent Culture Recovery board chaired by Sir Damon Buffini.