The UK’s film and TV industries are facing a gap in public financial support as it now appears certain that the country will withdraw from funding program Creative Europe when the Brexit transition period ends in December 2020.
Bodies including the UK creative workers union Bectu and producers union Pact have called on the government to step in and replace that loss of funding, which totaled around $100M between the years 2014 and 2018. That money includes backing for production, sales, distribution and exhibition companies, and also support for the distribution of UK films in other European countries.
“As with any other European program that the UK may no longer participate in its vitally important that the UK Government details how it plans to replace these programs and make clear public commitments on the levels of funding they will make available to ensure we do not suffer economically at a time then the UK is favorably positioned to grow its share of the global markets,” said Pact CEO John McVay.
“This is troubling news for British independent filmmakers trying to survive in a market dominated by American productions,” said Head of Bectu Philippa Childs. As Deadline reported earlier this year, the UK saw records levels of production spend on its shoes in 2019, at $4.7BN, but the amount spent on homegrown UK production actually fell in that period.
“Creative Europe is instrumental in supporting the independent film sector through initial seed funding which enables many productions to get off the ground. Bectu will be contacting ministers to find out why the government opted out of third-country participation and for reassurances that the funding will be directly replaced,” added Childs. “There are clear economic arguments for this funding to remain in place. The government must not take the success of our creative industries for granted in a post-Brexit economy.”
The news emerged after the publishing of the government’s “approach to the Future Relationship with the EU” report yesterday, which made no mention of Creative Europe. The UK did have the option to become a third-party participant through direct financial contributions, but it does not appear this option will be used.