People/Biz

UK gov publishes eligibility criteria for $647M film and TV restart scheme

The UK government has published the draft rules for its £500 million (US$647 million) Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, setting out eligibility criteria and guidance for the temporary fund. Announced in July, ...
September 17, 2020

The UK government has published the draft rules for its £500 million (US$647 million) Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, setting out eligibility criteria and guidance for the temporary fund.

Announced in July, the scheme is intended to help domestic productions that have been halted or delayed by an inability to obtain insurance for coronavirus-related risks get back up and running.

Among the eligibility requirements laid out in the draft rules, productions must be based in the UK and purchase insurance to cover non-coronavirus risks.

Producers must also provide evidence that they have been unable to obtain insurance to cover COVID-related costs.

Productions filmed in front of paying live audiences are excluded from the scheme, as well as live news or current affairs programs and productions that provide coverage of live events — including sport — or theatrical, musical or artistic performances.

Eligible productions can receive compensation for costs caused by COVID-19 interruptions or postponements up to a value of 20% of the production budget. Abandonment of productions due to coronavirus are to be covered up to 70% of the production budget, with a total cap on claims per production of £5 million.

To participate in the scheme, eligible productions will pay a fee equal to 1% of the production budget.

The federal government has been working with an industry group as part of the British Film Institute’s Sector Task Force, led by trade association Pact.

“The majority of the film and TV sector has been unable to return to production due to a lack of COVID insurance cover, so clarity on the government scheme means that the sector should now be able to get back to what we love most — making TV programs and films enjoyed by UK audiences and many more millions around the globe,” Pact CEO John McVay said in a statement.

Sara Geater, chair of Pact and All3Media chief operating officer, added: “We welcome the government’s support for our industry which will see a return to work for thousands of people and provide the UK TV and film industry with the opportunity and confidence to put production plans into practice to build on the huge global success we achieved in 2019.”

The registration deadline for the scheme is Dec. 31, and claims will be able to be submitted up to Nov. 30, 2021 for losses incurred up until June 30, 2021.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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