During this COVID-19 crisis Pact is trying to keep indies as informed as possible by sharing details of the support and resources available to them across the UK, including those which are region-specific.
We are working closely with our Pact Council Regional Reps to update members on all available opportunities as the situation evolves. We are also liaising with the various screen agencies and will be closely monitoring any activity and updates from them.
As ever, Pact’s Head of Nations and Regions, Tris Payne is available by e-mail and telephone should you have any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 3143 4374
Nations and Regions support
Pact’s Scotland Working Group, led by Pact Council Scotland rep Jane Muirhead, has been keeping in contact and considering the implications of this situation on indies in Scotland and the support they might need to get through it. We will keep members in Scotland updated with any new information arising from these meetings in due course.
Screen Scotland Funding
In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, Screen Scotland has announced new funding and support for Scotland’s screen sector in the form of two programmes:
- Screen Bridging Bursary programme
A £1.5million Screen Bridging Bursary programme will provide one-off bursaries of £500 to £2,500 to freelance PAYE and self-employed screen sector workers who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19. Applications are now open and full guidelines can be found here.
- Single Project Development Fund
Scotland’s independent film and TV production companies are able to apply for newly ring-fenced development support of between £3,000-£50,000 to develop creative and ambitious projects over the next 3-6 months to enable planning towards production when Government guidance allows. Read more here.
Screen Scotland has also compiled a list of useful resources for screen sector workers in Scotland, which includes screen sector specific support groups and organisations, this is being regularly updated.
Keep up to date with Screen Scotland news here.
Creative Scotland Open Fund: sustaining creative development
Funding between £1,000 and £50,000 is available to individuals and organisations to sustain themselves through the COVID-19 crisis. The fund is Open all year round, with no deadlines and can support activity for up to 12 months.
Find out more and apply here.
Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund
The Scottish Government Coronavirus Business Support Fund is available to help businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19. The purpose of these one-off grants is to help protect jobs, prevent business closure and promote economic recovery.
One of the grants available is £10,000 to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. Business with a rateable value up to £18,000 are eligible. More information can be found here.
Scottish Government support: second phase of funding: (announced 15th April 2020)
Around £220 million of further grants are being made available for businesses and individuals - including the recently self-employed - to help them deal with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new package of measures, announced on Wednesday 15th April, includes £120 million to extend the Small Business Grant scheme. A further £100 million fund is also being made available to protect self-employed people and viable micro and SME businesses in distress due to COVID-19. Find out more here.
£20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (announced 21st April)
Managed by the Enterprise Agencies in partnership with Creative Scotland and VisitScotland, this Fund is for creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief and is part of the Scottish Government's aforementioned support package.
For creative, tourism and hospitality companies of up to 50 employees not receiving business rates relief, there will be rapid access £3,000 hardship grants or larger grants up to £25,000 where it can be demonstrated support is needed.
Applications for this will be open at the end of April, and grants will begin to be paid in early May.
Read more here.
A further list of funding support for creative industry businesses in Scotland can be found here.
Business Gateway Scotland
Offering business support and advice through the Coronavirus pandemic for businesses in Scotland. Find out more here.
Pact Council’s NI Rep, Kieran Doherty is in regular contact with Tris Payne to discuss the needs of members in Northern Ireland. We will keep members in NI updated with any new information arising from these meetings in due course.
Pact is also in contact with Northern Ireland Screen and will update members with additional support and advice as it becomes available.
NI Micro-business Hardship Fund
£40m Hardship Fund aimed at microbusinesses which have not been eligible for existing support schemes. More info here.
Northern Ireland Executive support
As part of the measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 17th March, the Northern Ireland Executive received an additional £640m in support, in addition to the £260m announced in the budget last week.
The initial support is as follows:
- No business rates in Northern Ireland for a period of 3 months
- An immediate grant of £10,000 available to all small businesses with a net annual value up to £15,000
Rewriting the Narrative Funding Call
In response to the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries, Future Screens NI and Northern Ireland Screen are partnering to deliver the Rewriting the Narrative Funding Call. It will fund up to 20 projects with a £5,000 grant each to carry out research and development into the five themes outlined by the programme. Projects can be in any form; a digital platform, short film or animation, a play, a script, a report, or VR/AR experiences.
Find out more here.
The deadline for applications is 5:00pm on Wednesday 6th May 2020.
Northern Ireland Screen have put together a summary of the current support available to those in Northern Ireland, as well as some useful links.
Film Hub Northern Ireland has information about their current set up and the impact on funding here.
Information and support for businesses from Invest Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Executive is available here.
Arts Council Northern Ireland – Creative Support Fund
A new Fund totaling £1.5 million to support the arts sector (freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers) in Northern Ireland during the Coronavirus crisis.
The Creative Support funding package comprises two strands. Both funds will be administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland:
Tris Payne has been in contact with members in Wales discussing what support is available. We will keep members in Wales updated with any new information arising in due course.
Ffilm Cymru announces £530k support package for Welsh film sector (posted 28th April)
Ffilm Cymru has announced a support package worth £530,000 for the Welsh film sector during the COVID-19 pandemic which includes an Emergency Relief Fund; Additional funds to support business innovation for producers; an increased Horizons Fund to support individual emerging writers, directors and producers; and an accelerated Development Fund for writer, director and producer teams developing their feature film projects.
Find out more here.
Creative Wales Emergency TV Development Fund
Up to £25,000 is available for companies to utilise the time, during which production cannot take place, to develop projects which will put them in a stronger position to secure commissions once a normal mode of working resumes.
Funding is for projects intended for TV only.
Find out more here.
The deadline for applications is 18th May.
Creative Wales Emergency Digital Development Fund
The EDDF fund will provide immediate financial support for games, animation, digital agencies and creative digital businesses during the coronavirus outbreak to:
- support the retention of IP by indigenous companies which, in turn, will enable them to grow.
- enable indigenous digital creative companies to develop new digital services and improve or introduce new platforms for the digitisation or distribution of digital content.
Find out more here.
The deadline for applications is 18th May.
S4C £6m support package
Responding to both the need to reflect the current situation in on-screen programming and the pressures on the Welsh production sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, the channel has initiated a three-part strategy which includes a rapid commissioning round and additional support for the sector. Find out more here.
Economic Resilience Fund
The Economic Resilience Fund is broken down as follows:
- £100m COVID-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme administered by Development Bank of Wales (which is fully subscribed)
- £100m fund to support microbusinesses
- £300m fund to support SMEs and large businesses
The Fund is open to applications from 17th April 2020 for 12 months. Find out more about the Economic Resilience Fund and other financial support in Wales here.
Film Hub Wales is posting updates via its website.
Creative Cardiff has collated the latest advice for businesses in the City, which they are updating on a regular basis as the situation evolves.
A range of information relating to COVID-19 support for businesses in Wales can be found here.
Yorkshire & the Humber
Indie TV and Film Development Fund
The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and Screen Yorkshire have joined forces to launch a funding initiative to support the Leeds City Region’s TV and film industries.
The Fund totals £200,000, with awards of between £2,500 and £25,000 available to help independent TV and film production companies to develop new content.
Eligibility: the fund is open to independent film and TV production companies with a substantive base in Leeds City Region who can demonstrate a proven track record in productions that have been broadcast (nationally or internationally) and / or commercially distributed.
Find out more about the fund and how to apply here.
The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 5th June.
Screen Yorkshire has issued this update and are continuing to run their Film Office.
Creative grants have been announced by Leeds City Council, allowing individuals and organisations in Leeds to get money to help with creative projects and ideas during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Round Foundry Media Centre, where Pact’s office in Leeds is based, shared this information from Leeds City Council to outline how the Council is supporting businesses in Leeds that are affected by the coronavirus.
BBC3 and BBC England launch factual development opportunity Northern Voices
The Northern Voices scheme is seeking documentary ideas from independent production companies based in the North of England that reflect the life experiences of 16-24 year-olds in the region and include new young talent (on and off screen). Find out more here.
Liverpool Film and TV Development Fund
The Film and TV Development Fund will provide investments of up to £25,000 per project to support the development of “ambitious and distinctive content” across feature film and TV genres. The Fund will be overseen by the Liverpool Film Office and is open for applications.
BFI Hub North has a COVID-19 update on their website outlining what has changed in the services they are offering and what hasn’t, as well as useful links.
Northern Film + Media (NFM) is North East England’s creative industries development agency. Their latest industry support resources and advice can be found here.
Social enterprise The Growth Company has launched a new initiative aimed at helping businesses and individuals affected by the unprecedented shift in the jobs market caused by the coronavirus crisis. Employ GM is a free service aiming to connect employers that have urgent vacancies with available individuals across the Greater Manchester region. It has been launched in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
The South East
The Pact Brighton Working Group has been liaising on support for indies in the area. We will keep members in the South East updated with any new information arising from these meetings in due course.
Screen South remains open for business. Read their COVID-19 statement here.
Due to the current crisis, Film Hub South East are not able to accept any new applications for their funding schemes. Read their statement here. However, funding available for filmmakers via BFI NETWORK South East is not affected.
Mayor of London Culture at Risk Business Support Fund
The Mayor of London launched a new emergency £2.3m fund to help some of London's most at risk creative and night time businesses. The targeted fund is designed to help grassroots music and LGBTQ+ venues, creative workspaces and independent cinemas. Find out more here.
£2m investment to grow West Midlands film, TV and games sector (announced 23.04.2020)
Create Central, the industry-led body set up in late 2019 has secured £2million of investment to deliver a programme of activities to help turbo charge the West Midlands film, TV and games sector.
Create Central has been awarded £1million through the BFI’s National Cluster Growth Fund using National Lottery money to deliver a long term growth plan specifically to meet the needs of the West Midlands’ screen businesses. In addition, £500,000 investment has been confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and £500,000 from Tin Smart Social, a regional social enterprise.
Read more here.
Create Central is also feeding industry intelligence and issues directly to government through a regional COVID-19 taskforce, as well as being part of the national BFI-led screen sector task force. Create Central do not provide any direct grants to businesses.
Birmingham City Council’s Film and Television office, Film Birmingham is sharing useful information and resources for businesses in the Midlands here.
Film Hub Midlands is continuing to offer what support they can but have had to temporarily pause all of their applications and funds. Read their statement here.
The South West
The Pact Bristol Working Group is keeping in touch on a regular basis, led by Pact Council rep Laura Marshall. We will keep members in the South West updated with any new information arising from these meetings in due course.
Film Hub South West is providing regular updates regarding the COVID-19 situation, including links to mental health support and a response for filmmakers. The BFI NETWORK Short Film and Early Development Funds are still open for applications and the BFI NETWORK Talent Executive will be responding to enquiries as usual: email@example.com
Creative England is posting regular updates on its website with COVID-19 guidance and links to further support and resources.
Creative England Creative Growth Finance Debt Fund
The Creative Growth Finance Debt Fund, in partnership with Triodos Bank UK, is a £24 million fund providing vital scale up finance to the UK’s most promising creative businesses. It has been updated since COVID-19 to make it easier and faster for businesses to access the loans. Find out more here.
Local Growth Hubs - England
Find your local Growth Hub in England for free advice and information on:
- local and national business support
- sources of finance
- help to build business resilience
Find out more here.
We will regularly update this page with nations and regions specific information as and when we have new details to share. If you have information which you would like us to add to this page please contact Hannah Grencis: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: Information is changing rapidly and whilst we are doing everything we can to keep our website up to date we advise you to double check with the organisations directly and please also keep checking your e-mails from Pact for the most up to date announcements and information.