The Guardian: UK pledges £500m insurance fund to jumpstart film and TV production
A £500m scheme to jumpstart the UK’s battered film and television industries has been welcomed by producers.
On Tuesday, the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced a scheme in which the government effectively takes on the role of a commercial insurer by offering to support productions if they incur losses because of coronavirus.
Film and TV production ground to a halt because of the lockdown, meaning delays to a string of movies and popular TV shows such as Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders. With the easing of restrictions, companies have been desperate to restart production but have been unable to do so because insurers will not provide Covid-19 cover.
“Production insurance is a fundamental part of how you make TV programmes and films,” said John McVay, the chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact). “ There has been no insurance written for Covid-related potential losses since the lockdown.”
Shows that have gone ahead have done so in very specific circumstances, such as the BBC’s Talking Heads monologue series, while restarted series, such as Coronation Street, have had to observe social distancing.
“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
He said the announcement was “amazing” and thanked the government for listening to industry concerns. “This has been a long slog. This allows us to get people back off furlough and get the industry back up and running.”
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