Producers can qualify as international co-production partners just by financial contributions instead of having to have a creative and technical input under a revised Anglo-Italian production pact, the UK government announced on Thursday.

The move comes hard on the heels of a major shake-up in UK support for local productions and international co-productions, whereby film super body the Film Council earmarked 20% of National Lottery-backed funds for European co-productions. That means at least £4.2m a year in lottery cash will be available for international co-productions and will apply to foreign-language films.

The latest move, which renews an Anglo-Italian co-production pact first struck in 1967, removes the stipulation that producers must have a creative and technical involvement in a production as well as a financial one to qualify as a co-production partner. Additionally, producers from a third country will now be able to take part in productions made under the agreement.

Minister for film Janet Anderson said: "This new co-production agreement will allow UK production companies much needed flexibility in working with Italian and other international partners to make and launch movies for the international market. Film-making is a risky business - measures which allow film-makers to share those risks and encourage production can only be beneficial to the UK film industry."