During this difficult time, Film London remains fully operational, delivering for the industry and sharing official advice and support.
The financial impact of the widespread shut down of UK production has been a reality faced by our talented workforce and last week we welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of support for people who are self-employed. Government will pay self-employed people 80% of their average monthly income over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month and this is currently open for the next three months, though may be extended.
The scheme is available for those earning up to £53k and 95% of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme. Access is expected by the beginning of June and HMRC will contact eligible people directly.
These interventions will help considerably in ameliorating the effects of this unprecedented situation. Film London will continue to work closely with the BFI, Government and industry to ensure that everything is being done to support our industry as we navigate through this difficult time.
A range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees and Business Support.gov.uk helps businesses find out who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
BFI and The Film and TV Charity have also partnered to create the COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund in a bid to help support the creative community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Established with a £1m donation from Netflix, the fund will aim to provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers who have been directly impacted by the closure of productions across the UK.
The industry continues to work together to provide support to preserve our talented workforce. Benevolent funds covering many of the creative industries have launched in recent weeks including:
- Equity Charitable Trust (Actors)
- Actors Benevolent Fund
- The Artist General Benevolent Fund (Artists)
- Help for Musicians (musicians and music related roles)
- NABS (advertising and media industries)
- Royal Variety Charity
- Live Events PSA Stagehand Welfare and Benevolent Fund
ScreenSkills are working hard to ensure training courses that were due to take place this year - and going forward - can be delivered in alternative forms. This will give professionals the opportunity to continue personal and skills development so that once production resumes, the screen industries continue to thrive.
Here at Film London, we will continue to share such updates via Film London’s twitter account and industry newsletter, and are also working to ensure our industry events can continue in a virtual format and we look forward to sharing more on that in the coming weeks. The UK screen industries have been experiencing an exceptional boom time and we look forward to building on this by continuing as an industry to invest in skills and develop our world-class infrastructure.
We are of course operating in unprecedented times and the impact of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be felt deeply by screen industries as we work through this ever evolving situation. Working together with partners, we are committed to an ongoing strategy to ensure sustainability, building on the UK's rich history of attracting filmmakers, nurturing talent and creating world class content.
Adrian Wootton OBE
Chief Executive, Film London and the British Film Commission