Following the demise of regional agency Screen East, the managing director of Elstree Studios has suggested that the agency’s $6.3 (£4m) fund should be run from Elstree Studios in a bid to save the money and keep it local.
Elstree Studios is launching a campaign to keep Screen East funds, believed to total $6.3m (£4m), in the East of England, admidst fears that they might be lost.
Screen East, the regional screen agency that supports filmmaking across Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, went into administration recently after allegations that an employee had misappropriated funds.
A former employee of the agency confirmed that $6.3m (£4m) in European money is currently held in the Low Carbon Fund.
With a creditors meeting due to take place on October 5, Roger Morris, the managing director of Elstree Studios has suggested that the fund should be run from Elstree Studios if match funding can be found.
Elstree Studios, which is currently playing host to Sherlock Holmes II with Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law, was already earmarked to take on Screen East’s location services centre over the next two years, responsible for attracting investment by marketing locations in the area, facilities, skills and expertise.
Morris has also called on other studios and production companies in the area to join forces to ensure that Screen East’s funds continue to be available.
“This money has to be kept in the region. If you take into account the match-funding it would draw, you’re looking at potentially losing around $19m (£12m) of production spending for the East of England,” said Morris.
He added: “In the light of the recent Government announcement of the closure of The UK Film Council, we need to ensure that the available funding for the Screen East area is maintained, not least because this funding would provide an essential bridge between the film world and the services needed to support it.”
“These funds should not be allowed to leave the region. It would be an outcome of this administrative failure which the East of England film and media industry doesn’t deserve.”