COVID-19 has caused unprecedented changes to film and TV production around the world. In the UK, nearly all production has halted. At this time of extreme uncertainty, we know that many of you in Bristol have either lost work, or face losing work. We know that the Government measures announced on 20th March do not go far enough to provide the vital support needed by self-employed workers and freelancers in this sector.
We want you to know that Bristol Film Office and The Bottle Yard Studios (divisions of Bristol City Council) are lobbying on behalf of Bristol’s production community at the highest level. We are liaising with Bristol City Council’s Economic Development team, senior leaders, councillors, local MPs and local/national sector bodies, to make sure the needs of the workforce in this sector are fully represented during city and regional planning.
Yesterday, the Chancellor said that he is looking at support for self-employed in “intense detail” and that he is “in dialogue with all the key stakeholder groups”. An amendment to the Coronavirus Bill has been put forward, proposing statutory self-employment pay to cover the lower of £2,917 or 80% of a self-employed/freelance person’s monthly earnings, averaged over the last three years. The Chancellor is expected to make a further announcement on this tomorrow (26 March). We will update you as the situation develops.
Please read the latest update about restrictions on location filming in Bristol here. If you’d like to reach out to us with your comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bristol Film Office & The Bottle Yard Studios
- A new Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund has been announced, to be delivered by The Film & TV Charity in partnership with the BFI, with a £1m donation from Netflix. Eligibility criteria is yet to be announced but the Fund will be open to those working in production, distribution and exhibition. Register for the charity’s mailing list to be first to hear when the Fund launches.
- Those in immediate need can apply to The Film and TV Charity’s existing Hardship Fund, which offers grants of up to £500 to provide stop-gap support.
- Art Council England has announced a £160m emergency support package, which includes £20m allocated for individuals (artists, creative practitioners and freelancers). Grants of up to £2,500 are available to creative practitioners whose main work is focused on: Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts, Literature, Combined Arts, Museums. More details will be released on 30 March, applicants will need to register on the application portal by 3 April.