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UK Government Extends $698M Covid Production Insurance Scheme By Six Months

The British government has announced plans to extend by six months the £500M ($698M) Film & TV Production Restart Scheme, which is offering a substitute to coronavirus insurance for UK shoots.

The insurance scheme is considered a world-leading intervention, which has helped give producers the confidence to return to production. It will be extended until the end of December, meaning it will capture the glut of summer shoots.

Sky/FX comedy Breeders is one of the 200 productions to have taken advantage of the initiative, and the government has claimed that it has protected 24,000 jobs. Feature Boxing Day has also used the scheme.

BFI CEO Ben Roberts said: “The Government’s Film & TV Production Restart Scheme has already supported more than 200 productions to get back up and running, generating more than 24,000 jobs and helping the industry to generate a significant £1.19 billion uplift in spend in the final months of last year.”

Directors UK added: “Directors UK welcomes the extension of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, having been an advocate of this support from the start of the COVID crisis. We’re pleased that our members and the creative sector can continue to work through the remainder of the pandemic, and its longer-term impact, and provide world-class entertainment for everyone to enjoy.”

The extension was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Budget on Wednesday. Commenting on the scheme last month, he said: “Tens of thousands of jobs in our Film & TV sector have already been protected by the Production Restart Scheme. The sector is not only a national treasure, but also a significant driver of our economy, so it’s only right that we do everything we can to get productions up and running again, and get people back doing what they love.”

“The scheme fills the insurance gap and gives productions the confidence to keep shooting, delivering the much-loved classics and ground-breaking new art that the UK is known for around the world.”

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