The UK has pledged to provide a £500million insurance fund to help the UK film and TV industry get back up and running following the pandemic.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has revealed that through the scheme the UK government will take on the role of a commercial insurer and will be offering support to productions that have incurred losses over the last few months.
Restrictions are beginning to ease in the industry which has had to put a number of high profile productions on hold. However, insurers have now halted productions which is why the government have intervened to get things back going.
“Production insurance is a fundamental part of how you make TV programmes and films,” John McVay, the chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact), told The Guardian. “There has been no insurance written for COVID-related potential losses since the lockdown.
“If you want to do something with scale and ambition, which is what the UK is famous for, you can’t even think of it unless you have insurance,” said McVay.
“This has been a long slog. This allows us to get people back off furlough and get the industry back up and running,” he added.
The £500m film and TV production restart scheme will cover the whole of the UK. The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said: “The UK’s film and TV industry is the envy of the world, and it’s vital that productions get the help they need to restart as part of our plan to kick-start jobs following the lockdown.”
He continued: “This targeted scheme, which will help fill the gap created by the lack of available insurance, will help protect tens of thousands of jobs, from actors and directors through to camera operators, costume designers, and runners. The sector is worth over £12bn to the UK’s economy, so it’s right that we do what we can to help them reopen and get back to making the films and shows that we all love.”