Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden, have announced a new Government fund of £500m to help domestic film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus related insurance.
Pact's Chief Executive John McVay 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.
Commenting on the announcement, John McVay said: "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.
"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.
"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."
The Production Guild also welcomes the news. Commenting on the announcement Production Guild Chair Alex Boden said: “This is excellent news for members of the PGGB, some of whose productions featured in the Emmy nominations this week.
"The introduction of an insurance guarantee fund is the boost that the UK Film and TV industries have been hoping for and will enable a green light for the many productions that have been waiting to start up. We are grateful for the dedicated work of Pact, the BFI and the wider Screen Sector task force in getting this intervention across the line and we welcome the UK Government’s continued endorsement of the production sector.”
BFI CEO Ben Roberts added: “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.”
Further details will be announced as soon as we get them.
You can read more on the Government's website by clicking here.