The UK government has extended its £500m ($650m) scheme designed to help domestic film and TV productions struggling to get Covid-19 related insurance by a further six months, although premiums are rising.
The Production Restart Scheme was launched last year and has enabled hundreds of indies to get back into production, but had been due to finish at the end of October.
It will now cover TV and film projects until 30 June 2022, with applications open until 30 April 2022, and is expected to assist more than 400 TV and film productions. More than 600 have already made use of the scheme.
The fund acts as a government-supported back-stop should Covid-19 cause disruption, with producers previously paying a 1% premium, based on the show’s budget. This will rise to 2.5% for applications after 1 November 2021.
The scheme was first unveiled in July 2020 and was designed to stop producers moving series abroad or spiking programmes completely, after the pandemic caused hundreds of shows including Line Of Duty and Peaky Blinders to suspend filming.
John McVay, Pact CEO, said: “It’s great to see the government’s continuing support for the UK’s TV and film industry. They have recognised that by helping the industry to get back on its feet, thousands of people will keep their jobs and the UK will be able to continue to make the world class television and film that it is famous for.
“The increase to the premium will be challenging for a range of producers, especially as we are still grappling with the increased Covid-19 production costs, but we hope that producers will still use the Scheme while other alternatives are currently unavailable.”