Government’s £500m emergency film and TV insurance fund could kickstart the industry

A big impediment to filming has been removed with the new emergency fund.

The Witcher

Programmes such as Line of Duty and The Witcher may be able to resume production following the British Government’s very welcome announcement of an emergency £500 million coronavirus production insurance fund.

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The fund is a huge boost to an industry stricken by the COVID-19 restrictions because it means that producers can resume filming safe in the knowledge that if there is a second wave and another lockdown the insurance fund will underwrite the cost of productions closing, according to Deadline.

Independent TV and film production trade body Pact had warned that shoots worth an estimated £1 billion were in jeopardy and had led months of talks with the government about an insurance solution.

Pact CEO 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.”

He continued: “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.”

Line of Duty season 5 - Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar

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.”

Deadline reports that although the vast majority of productions were awaiting an insurance solution, filming had been tentatively resumed in the UK. War of the Worlds was the first substantial production to resume, but BBC One’s Death in Paradise is also underway in the Caribbean.

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