The Film and TV Charity redevelops Soho HQ, joined by NFTS, BIFA

Alex Pumfrey

The UK’s Film and TV Charity is redeveloping its Soho headquarters into an accessible hub for the local film and TV industries.

Under the restructure, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) will also join the charity, taking space in the building.

The move marks the first permanent central London base for the NFTS, which has been based out of Beaconsfield. The organisation will look to run a range of specialist courses and grow its relationships with those working in the capital.

The new space will include a work café on the ground floor, as well as an event space and meeting rooms that will be available for hire.

The refurbishment is part of a six-year strategy designed to offer more support to people working in the industry, and the building is set to open in early 2020.

In June, the charity launched The Looking Glass – the UK film, cinema and TV industry’s largest mental health and wellbeing study, with results set to be published in the new year.

As revealed by TBI in a recent roundtable on mental health in TV, the proportion of people in the film and TV industries who have experienced mental ill-health is 86% compared to 66% in the general population.

Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity, said: “Refurbishing our HQ is part of our goal to radically change the way we support individuals working in our industry. We know people feel passionately about their work, but they tell us it can be lonely and isolating, too. Our aim is to create a welcoming space for everyone who works behind the scenes of film and tv to meet, work and exchange ideas. We’re delighted to be welcoming the NFTS and BIFA to our new space.”

Jon Wardle, director of the NFTS, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer NFTS students a permanent teaching space in the heart of London. We are passionate about attracting the brightest and best to the creative industries through our courses and having a London base will amplify our staff and students’ ability to connect with the industry more broadly.”

Amy Gustin and Deena Wallace, directors of BIFA, added: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us and for independent film professionals based in and visiting London. Through extensive consultation with the industry, we know that a major problem that new and emerging filmmakers face is a lack of a suitable workplace and environment.

“This new space will change the way that the industry meet and work, and will allow BIFA to support the careers of Britain’s most exciting new filmmakers in ground-breaking new ways.”

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