The London Film Commission (LFC) has appointed Sue Hayes as its commissioner and announced that Richard Attenborough will be its first patron.

Hayes worked as a documentary producer in the UK and US and has been director of the Edinburgh International Television Festival. The commission has also appointed Graham Anderson, managing director of Arri Media Film Services, to its board of directors.

The appointments come after the commission narrowly escaped closing down earlier this year due to a financial crisis. Staffing levels were slashed in the bid to survive, while chairman David Potter and chief executive Dominic Reid resigned after failing to secure additional funding.

Brian Yell, the UK-based executive vice-president for international operations at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was appointed chairman following the overhaul.

"Lord Attenborough's acceptance to become the commission's first patron is a great honour for us and recognises the vital role that the LFC plays in the promotion of film-making in the capitol," Yell said. "In addition, Sue Hayes brings with her a wealth of 'on the ground' experience and commercial expertise that will help to move the commission forward into the next phase of its development."

In a U-turn from the policy pursued under Potter and Reid, the scaled-down LFC is once again seeking financing through sponsorship as well as exploiting its database. Potter and Reid had eschewed piecemeal funding through sponsorship for a longer-term commitment from the UK government and broadcasters, but failed to secure the necessary support.

The LFC is currently bankrolled by $226,000 a year from UK film super body the Film Council, plus a clutch of sponsors from within and outside the industry.