The UK government has unveiled a £500m fund to allow local film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus related insurance to start shooting.
“This very welcome news shows that the UK Government has listened to one of our key industries and has taken unprecedented steps to support our highly successful indigenous film and TV production and broadcasting industry to get back to what we love most - making TV programmes and films enjoyed by UK audiences and many more millions around the globe,” said John McVay, Pact’s chief executive who leads the industry’s working group on insurance as part of the BFI’s Screen Sector Task Force.
The group has been working with Government to reach a solution to the lack of COVID-19 insurance, which has prevented the majority of the UK’s TV and film industry from returning to work.
“This will not only help many hundreds of small companies across the UK, but also the many thousands of freelancers who have been furloughed to get back to work along with those who sadly weren’t able to benefit from the Government’s interventions,” McVay continued. ”It will also be good news for UK viewers who will be looking forward to new content becoming available as soon as possible. And with over 500 companies telling us at the beginning of lockdown that they only had enough reserves for 3-6 months, it will also help one of the world’s most successful independent sectors back to growth.”
Ben Roberts, BFI chief executive said: “Given the significant contribution of film and TV production to the UK economy, there has been a huge joint effort on the part of government and industry to get production restarted. The issue of securing coronavirus-related insurance quickly emerged as the biggest hurdle for independent producers - and a major priority for the Screen Sector Taskforce - so the Government’s £500 million scheme is really great news for our production business, jobs and for the economy.”