Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson is raising a second wave funding of UK tax-driven financing for a new series of his cult TV series Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons.
Anderson previously raised £8m through the Enterprise Investment Scheme to start production on the £20m series, becoming the fastest and biggest ever example of the 10 year-old scheme.
The second EIS fundraising scheme, handled once again by investment house Margetts, will run until April next year and is to be used to top up the production's budget. The minimum investment level of £11,000 for the second fund raising has been chosen to attract smaller investors.
With the Section 48 tax deferrals set to expire in 2005, the EIS scheme is proving popular. The UK Film Council last month launched a bid to top up its Premiere Fund of lottery cash with an EIS fund.
In merchandising terms, Margetts' Toby Ricketts said that Captain Scarlet outstripped Thunderbirds when both originally ran as series in the 60s. Working Title Films is adapting Thunderbirds as a merchandise-laden theatrical film for next year.
"Gerry's creations have always had immense appeal when it comes to licensing and merchandising properties," said Ricketts. "Add to this a strong showing for the DVD and video sales of Gerry's original series - as well, of course, as the tax breaks on offer - and it doesn't take a great leap of faith to understand that Gerry Anderson Productions and the new Captain Scarlet series have a great deal of potential in investment terms."