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UK sets up part replacement for EU fund

The UK’s Creative Industries Federation has welcomed a partial replacement for the Creative Europe Media fund which UK producers will no longer have access to after Brexit, whilst calling for clarity over other EU-funded programmes.

Caroline Norbury

The Global Screen Fund was announced this week by the UK government as a partial replacement for Creative Europe Media funding and will pump £7m (US$9.4m) into the industry in its pilot year.

This is significantly less than the £17m that was initially called for by the British Film Institute (BFI) when it was consulted earlier this year.

Earlier this year the government confirmed it will not be seeking to participate in the next Creative Europe Media programme, due to start in January 2021, following Brexit.

Initial estimates were that, in the long term, the independent sector would shrink by 10% without a replacement fund, costing up to 1,200 jobs.

This was only set to be exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which threatens the future of independent production companies, distributors, sales agents, festivals and exhibitors.

The Global Screen Fund is the result of the UK’s BFI working on a domestic alternative with government officials this year.

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of Creative Industries Federation, said yesterday: “EU funding has been crucial in enabling creative entrepreneurs and organisations to deliver social and economic value whilst cementing the UK’s position as world-leading.

“We look forward to seeing the long-awaited details on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and urge that government consults with industry as it pilots these new approaches. Confirmation of a Global Screen Fund to replace Creative Europe Media is welcome news, but urgent clarity is needed on what will replace Creative Europe Culture and other EU-funded programmes.”

The budget of the next Creative Europe programme, running from 2021 to 2027, was recently increased by €600m (US$711m), raising its total from €1.4bn to €2.2bn.

Since its launch in 2014 and until 2018, Creative Europe had awarded €89.5m to 376 UK-based cultural and creative organisations and audiovisual companies and helped distribute 190 UK films in other European countries.

UK TV producers received part of this funding, putting it towards content including high-end drama and animated series.

Participation in Creative Europe is not restricted to EU member states, with numerous non-EU countries currently having either partial or full participation.

In related news, the UK’s Creative Industries Federation have written an open letter to UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP calling for more support for self-employed and freelance workers.

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