Peaky Blinders (Courtesy of Netflix)
The U.K. government’s Film and TV Production Restart scheme has resulted in 640 film and TV projects worth over £1.9 billion ($2.63 billion) going into production in the last 12 months.
Among those which have benefited from the scheme are the sixth season of “Peaky Blinders” and Cannes film favorite “Mothering Sunday,” which stars “The Crown” actor Josh O’Connor and Colin Firth.
The £500 million scheme, which was unveiled in July last year to aid pandemic recovery, was created to support productions that were unable to secure insurance related to delays caused by Coronavirus. It has supported more than 55,000 screen sector jobs.
It will provide cover at least until the end of this year. U.K. production has bounced back following the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020, and at the end of last year recorded the second highest spend for any quarter. The BFI’s Screen Sector Task Force, which provided COVID-19 guidance for different areas of the industry, has also been credited with aiding the sector’s recovery.
Separately, the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund has provided £27.6 million of support to independent cinemas.
U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I’ve seen firsthand how this scheme has been a lifeline during this pandemic, 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 all the way 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.”
“We make high quality film and television content enjoyed by audiences at home and around the world, demonstrating the skills and expertise of our world-class crew, cast and production businesses,” said Ben Roberts, chief executive of the British Film Institute. “The pandemic brought production to a halt early last year and unable to restart without insurance cover against potential COVID disruption, however the government’s Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has been a game-changer for the industry’s recovery. A year down the line we are looking at a booming sector attracting further commercial investment and opportunities for more jobs and contributing to the U.K.’s economy.”
Variety's K.J. Yossman contributed to this post.