As well as increasing the maximum investment per project to £1,000,000, the Fund will now offer a mixture of debt and equity and can accept matched co-investment from both private and other public sector sources including BFI, BBC, C4 and the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) on terms to be agreed.
Supported through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the WMPF accepts applications from producers already based in Birmingham and the West Midlands as well as from companies looking to bring productions to the region.
Productions looking for investment must still demonstrate a strong commercial proposition and a positive impact on the region – utilising local cast, crew and services wherever possible and spending a significant portion of the production investment in the area.
Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive at Creative England, said: “This uplifted funding and more flexible guidelines will make the West Midlands region an even more attractive destination for TV and film producers looking for diverse locations, a talented workforce and dynamic production services support.
“We’ve seen some fantastic productions film in the West Midlands with support from WMPF, most recently Pinewood, Shine and Kudos’ Spooks: The Greater Good and Altitude’s The Call Up. Now we’re stepping up a gear, with a greater focus on the TV production sector and a pragmatic investment model designed to attract new commercially-focused businesses. Our doors are open.”
Chris Moll, Head of Film at Creative England, said: “We’ve seen some phenomenal critical and commercial successes with this Fund, most notably with original Line of Duty and the last Nativity feature. Both have already recouped our investment and are delivering returns to our Legacy Fund. This budget increase is aimed at securing the reputation of the region as a favoured port of call for the very best UK and International TV and feature film producers”
Previously called the Advantage Media Production Fund (AMPF), the fund was re-launched as the West Midlands Production Fund in late 2013.
It has previously supported projects as diverse as Road to Guantanamo, Toast and the Nativity films, the documentary One Mile Away (Best British Feature, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012) and high rating TV series Hustle, Line of Duty and Emmy-nominated Dancing on the Edge.