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New MOU opens up opportunities for Pact members in France

Header image: a shot inside the UKBC Lille, a promotional shot for UKBC Lille, and a shot of a small film crew on location in the countryside.

Pact has today (Tuesday 4th July 2023) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK Business Centre (UKBC) Lille to ‘facilitate cooperation and mutual exchange in the film & TV content industry’ between the UK and the Hauts de France region.

The agreement, which will run for an initial period of three years, promises to increase opportunities for ambitious UK indies to grow their businesses and operations in France, the UK’s third biggest TV exports market,* as well as in the EU more broadly.

Quote: "France is our third largest TV exports market and our closest neighbour in mainland Europe, so it’s a no-brainer for us to strengthen our ties and explore mutually beneficial opportunities"

The MOU includes an active programme of activities, which will see Pact members benefit from information, guidance and support including: 

– Access to office space and English language helplines through UKBC Lille.

– Online webinars which will be made available via the Pact Growth Accelerator, introducing UK indies to the film and TV industry in the Hauts de France region, outlining the support available from UKBC Lille, and covering commercial topics such as employment and immigration, banking and taxation. 

– 1-2-1 support surgeries with specialists to address specific issues such as visas, tax management, and finding local support staff. 

– Joint events taking place in both the UK and the Hauts de France region providing valuable networking opportunities between UK indies and French production businesses, screen agencies and funding bodies.

Commenting on the signing of the MOU, Pact’s Managing Director of Business Development & Global Strategy, Dawn McCarthy-Simpson MBE said: “This is exciting news for UK indies. France is our third largest TV exports market and our closest neighbour in mainland Europe, so it’s a no-brainer for us to strengthen our ties and explore mutually beneficial opportunities for further collaboration. This MOU with UKBC Lille will open the door for UK indies to grow their business prospects internationally, in the Hauts de France region specifically but also France and the EU more broadly.” 

Nik Haidar, Chairman of British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Lille added: “At the UKBC Lille we are very excited about the opportunity to work more closely with Pact to build a mutually beneficial programme of activities and events. The Hauts de France region is a powerhouse for creative industries both in France and in Europe. With millions of euros of investment in the sector, several centres of excellence across the region and hundreds of companies involved in TV and film production it is a natural stepping stone for UK independents into France and into Europe. We are looking forward to welcoming Pact members to the Hauts de France, introducing them to the regional experts and partners to help them accelerate their projects and providing them with on the ground support – in English.”

Members will be able to access initial information webinars on the Growth Accelerator from July, and we will share further details about planned activities that you can get involved with in the coming months via the website and weekly newsletter.

*Data from the Pact UK TV Exports Report 2022.