The UK's Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has contributed to the creation of more than 600 feature films and television productions since the region began trying to redeem itself from the losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme has remained under review as the sector has recovered from the impact of the pandemic and was extended to provide cover until the end of this year as part of the budget.
The government-funded initiative consists of £500 million to support films and television productions, which were ready to start or restart but lacked insurance coverages for further potential delys and suspensions. Over 55,000 jobs are to be provided by the productions which have registered with the scheme. “I’ve seen firsthand how this scheme has been a lifeline during this pandemic,” says Oliver Dowden, Culture Secretary.
Initially introduced in July last year, the scheme began accepting applications in October 2020, and has since helped the sector bounce back, garnering £1.19 billion, the second-highest spending figure for any quarter on record at the end of last year. In addition to the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, the screen industry has also benefited from £27.6 million of support to independent cinemas through the government’s Culture Recovery Fund. “Keeping the cameras rolling on TV and film sets across the country, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in the process – from actors, make-up artists, and technicians to catering companies and transport firms. Thanks to this scheme, our screen industry is raring to go – and British-made productions will be at the heart of our recovery,” Dowden said.
In addition to financial support, the scheme has also developed various COVID-19 health and safety protocols for film and high-end television drama production, other types of television programs.“Our world-leading film and TV industry support hundreds of thousands of jobs,” says Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, “That’s why it was so important we helped it to get up and running again as part of our Plan for Jobs. It’s great that one year on since its launch the Restart Scheme has given so many productions the confidence to keep shooting, supporting jobs across the UK, and producing the film and TV we all love.”
Several productions registered with the scheme have returned, including "The Bay," "Midsomer Murders," "Peaky Blinders," and "Gentleman Jack." The film "Mothering Sunday" recently had a worldwide premier at the Cannes Film Festival. "Boxing Day" was registered early with the scheme, and Terence Davies’ "Benediction" has just been announced for screening at the San Sebastian and Toronto International Film Festival, both taking place in September.
Our world-leading film and TV industry support hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why it was so important we helped it to get up and running again as part of our Plan for Jobs. It’s great that one year on since its launch the Restart Scheme has given so many productions the confidence to keep shooting, supporting jobs across the UK, and producing the film and TV we all love.” Rishi Sunak Chancellor, The Exchequer