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BFI Covid-19 Production Continuation Fund for UK independent productions

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An emergency fund for UK independent productions interrupted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic is now live.

The BFI Covid-19 Production Continuation Fund will award up to £150,000 ($186,000) per project from a National Lottery funding pot of £2m ($2.5m). It will be open for UK independent productions in critical financial need as a result of unavoidable interruption due to the virus crisis, which has seen an industry-wide shut down, and will remain open until May 27. The fund is intended to help cover unexpected additional costs, aiming to ensure producers are in a position to restart when it is safe and practical to do so.

A number of independently financed UK films that were already filming or in late stage pre-production are understood to have incurred significant and unexpected costs in having to shut down as a result of the pandemic. The majority of these productions are, as a result, at serious risk of collapsing, as they may not find other sources of funding to cover these costs. The new fund is focused on ensuring productions can be stabilised, increasing their ability to resume production when social distancing guidance allows.

Ben Roberts, CEO of the BFI, said: “We are focused on restarting the industry as quickly as possible, and central to that is ensuring we have a strong and vibrant independent film sector in the UK, which was under considerable pressure before the shutdown. This fund is part of that work, providing a vital lifeline to independent productions directly and significantly impacted by the lockdown. It aims to ensure the production companies, along with the creatives and crew they were working with, are in a position to restart when it is safe and appropriate to do so, and crucially, encouraging our talented workforce to remain in the sector.”

Who Should Apply?

Applications are invited from independently financed films with a production budget of less than £8m ($9.9m), which are produced by a UK production company and are capable of qualifying as a “British film”, including UK qualifying co-productions (where such costs must relate to UK production elements). All awards from the fund will be recoupable.

The Production Continuation Fund mirrors the financial support already provided to eight BFI-funded features that were filming or in late stage pre-production when they were forced to stand down due to the Covid-19 crisis. These include Benediction, written and directed by Terence Davies and starring Jack Lowden, and Pirates, the feature directorial debut from Reggie Yates.

The fund is part of a package of support the BFI has rolled out to support individuals, organisations and businesses across the sector. The BFI is also continuing to work closely with industry and government to develop and implement a sector-wide strategy for recovery.

Out of its Screen Sector Task Force, a number of working groups are focused on inward investment, independent film, distribution and exhibition, and television and broadcasting. Roberts spoke to Screen this week in a wide-ranging interview about the Task Force and more.

To apply, for guidelines and for eligibility details, visit




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The Jack And Ada Beattie Foundation offers grants to Brummies affected by Covid-19

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The Jack And Ada Beattie Foundation is offering help to those affected by Covid-19 across London and Birmingham. The Foundation was founded in 2011 by notable Brummie and advertising executive  Trevor Beattie, and assists causes with an aim to  “fight against inequality in all its forms, and proudly display the Beattie family trait of defiance in the face of adversity.” In its history it has provided grants to individuals and organisations with needs and aspirations falling under the theme of dignity, freedom and sanctuary.

Those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for the Tons of Help Fund.


Tons of Help Fund

  • The Jack and Ada Beattie Foundation is launching ‘Tons of Help From Jack and Ada’ to support the most in need, affected by coronavirus across London and Birmingham.
  • Grants of £100 for individuals to support essential and basic needs.
  • The foundation commits to funding this programme. However, if other donors would like to support a grant – the foundation can direct your support to a case (and update you on the case study details).
  • Recipients will remain anonymous and their personal details never be published across any of the Foundation’s marketing or to donors. Although case stories will be published on our website/twitter.

Why £100?

  • £100 is more than anyone, no matter their circumstance will receive per week on Universal Credit.
  • £100 is the most common amount sought from a payday lender – over half of payday loans go on essential and basic expenditure such as grocery shopping.
  • £100 covers the average weekly grocery spend of a household of two adults.
  • £100 covers the average monthly energy; water and broadband bills of a household, combined.

To apply, individuals are asked to email: their name; geographical location and a short summary of their circumstances. No intrusive application form; no repayment needed. Find out more here.


Other Jack And Ada Beattie Foundation initiatives

Bank of Mum And DadInterest-free, charges-free, bank-free loans for people who need them most. 12 months to pay back. And the sooner the loan is paid back, the sooner it can be passed on to someone else in need of dignified financial help. Find out more here.

Grant Programme: The funding priorities for charities and individuals are Dignity; Freedom and Sanctuary. These are aimed at small, but important battles. Backing achievable ambitions. Assisting the vulnerable and marginalised facing social injustice and inequality. Find out more here.


Uncertain Kingdom is commissioning a film about Covid-19 – Deadline May 12th

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The Uncertain Kingdom is a collection of twenty short films from twenty directors about the UK now. The films were commissioned in the spring last year and delivered through the winter.  They are currently commissioning a twenty-first film specifically on the topic of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The film should open a unique and insightful perspective on the pandemic. As with all The Uncertain Kingdom films, it must be entertaining, original and relevant to the UK now.

Here’s more information from Uncertain Kingdom:


The final film

The film must be possible to produce while respecting government advice on the pandemic. It will be commissioned in May and must be delivered by 3rd August 2020.

Once again, we will give the chosen filmmaking team or individual filmmaker up to £10,000 to produce their film.

This final film will not be included in the online release of The Uncertain Kingdom but will be included in the community screenings when they take place.

What kind of film are we looking for?

We are looking for a story that gives a unique and insightful perspective on the crisis. We don’t mind what genre, form or style you choose, so long as it’s the best way to tell your story. You could apply with fiction, documentary, dance, monologue, animation… This list isn’t exhaustive; it’s up to you what you submit, so long as it meets the requirements listed under ‘your film’, below.

Who can apply?

The Uncertain Kingdom is aimed at experienced filmmakers with confidently executed, accomplished work under their belts.

Filmmakers have final cut and we’ll have minimal creative involvement. There’s no training element to the project, so we need to be confident you can deliver.

If you have significant experience in theatre, artist moving image, performance or other area of storytelling and you have an idea for a film, we welcome your application.

The Uncertain Kingdom is an inclusive project and we actively encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.

Your team

Applications must have a producer and director. That could be one person doing both roles, or a duo, or a team. If you have more than one producer, you’ll need to designate a lead producer to make the application. You may have a separate writer(s), or the director and/or producer could be the writer. It’s fine if there isn’t a writer at all.

Your core team may be more than three people but we will only ask about up to three team members in the initial application. Team members may be of any nationality but must all live in the UK.

Your experience

The lead producer and the director must have at least three short film credits, with at least one film having played at a BAFTA-qualifying festival; or a feature credit; or TV episode credit. Credits must be in the role in which the individual is applying to The Uncertain Kingdom.

These credits may have been achieved together as a team, or individually. Other contributors to the project, such as writers or additional producers, may be less experienced. If you’re coming from another storytelling background, you’ll need to demonstrate an equivalent level of experience.

Your film

·      Your film must tell us your unique perspective on the pandemic

·      It must be possible to produce your film while respecting government advice on the pandemic

·       It must be possible to produce and deliver your film by 3rd August 2020

·      If your film is fictional, it must be original (there must not be any underlying rights)

·      Your film must be achievable on £20k (we will award you up to £10k; you may raise a further £10k to the budget cap of £20k)

·      If you plan to raise more, you’ll need to be able to tell us how you’re going to do this in time to deliver on 3rd August 2020

·      Your film must have a running time of between 2 minutes and 15 minutes, including all credits.

·      Your film must be capable of achieving a maximum 18 BBFC certificate

·      Your film can be at script stage or at an earlier stage of development. However, you’ll need to tell us the whole story (beginning, middle and end) when you apply

What about copyright?

Filmmakers will retain the copyright in their films. On delivery of the film, The Uncertain Kingdom will be granted an exclusive licence to exploit the film for a limited term. At the end of the exclusive period granted to The Uncertain Kingdom, filmmakers will be free to screen and exploit their film as they like.

The Uncertain Kingdom does not expect to profit from any exploitation of the films. Filmmakers will not be required to pay any profit share to The Uncertain Kingdom and any money received by The Uncertain Kingdom from exploitation of the films will be shared among the filmmakers, after deduction of reasonable expenses.

How to apply

The (lead) producer must make the application on behalf of the team. When you apply, you’ll need to give us a 25-word log-line and a short synopsis of your story (1000 characters maximum). If you prefer, you can submit a video answer for your synopsis (2 minutes of video maximum).  You’ll also need to tell us what your film is about in 3 words. There’s no set way to do this; do what works for your film. For example, if you were making Jurassic Park, you might write: ‘man vs. nature’; or if you were making When Harry Met Sally, you could say, ‘male/female friendship’.

You’ll need to send us a sample of the producer and director’s work. Each sample must be a continuous clip from one film, of up to 3 minutes duration maximum. Please choose 3 minutes that you think is either most relevant to the film you want to make or the best representation of who you are as a filmmaker. Ideally the clip would do both. Please don’t send reels, trailers or full films that are longer than 3 minutes. If your whole film is shorter than 3 minutes, that’s fine.

You’ll also need short bios (1000 characters maximum) and contact details for each member of the team, and IMDb and website links if applicable.

Applications open on 29th April. You can find the link here.

Please note that you cannot edit your application after you have submitted and you cannot save it and come back to it later, so please make sure you have everything you need to get it done in one go.  There is nothing in the form that we haven’t told you about here in the guidelines, so there is no need to send a blank, ‘test’ entry to see the whole submission form. If you have everything we’ve listed above, you’re ready to submit.

You are welcome to apply more than once, with a new idea each time, with the same team or in different teams. However please bear in mind that we need to be confident about your commitment and passion for your film; if you spread your commitment and passion across more than one idea, it could make your application less compelling.

When to apply

Applications open at 8am Wednesday 29th April. Applications close at 11pm on Tuesday 12th May.

What happens next?

We will get back to you in the week commencing 25th May to let you know if we are progressing your application. If we are progressing your application, we will ask you for further materials, such as a script, other examples of your work, mood boards, schedule or budget (as applicable). Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we received last time, we don’t anticipate being able to respond to unsuccessful applications. So if you don’t hear from us, your application has not been progressed.

We will choose the selected team at the end of May 2020.

The film must be delivered on 3rd August 2020.




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Arts Council offers emergency funding for creative practitioners, freelancers and organisations

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The Emergency Response Fund by the Arts Council is open to all creative practitioners, freelancers and organisations. The deadline for applications is 30 April 2020. Anyone interested in applying needs to register on the Arts Council’s system by Monday 27 April.

Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

The Arts Council have made £20 million available to individuals working in the cultural sector, including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. You can apply for up to £2,500 – click here to apply.

Creative practitioners whose main work is focused on these artforms and disciplines:

  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Visual Arts
  • Literature
  • Combined Arts
  • Museums practice
  • Libraries (activity that helps deliver the Universal Library Offers)

This work includes: choreographers, writers, translators, producers, editors, freelance educators in the disciplines and artforms we support, composers, directors, designers, artists, craft makers and curators.

The Arts Council is also exploring reasonable adjustments that will ensure applicants with access requirements have an equal chance of benefiting from this fund. This would include anyone ill due to Covid-19.

For more information, click here.




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BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund for UK exhibitors – Deadline May 6th

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Applications are now open for the BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund, £1.3m of National Lottery funding repurposed to offer critical relief and business continuity to exhibitors across the UK.

The BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund has been launched with the intention of helping FAN members to maintain connections with audiences during the closure period and to be in a position to reopen and re-engage those audiences once the crisis has passed.

About BFI FAN (Film Audience Network)

The vision of the BFI’s UK wide Film Audience Network (FAN) is to build a wider, more diverse cinema audience with a richer appreciation of British and international film.

As of 20 March 2020, the achievement of these aims has been put at risk due to the Government directive to close cinemas, cultural venues and other places of gathering across the UK which, along with the mass cancellation of film festivals, has severely impacted on the ability of FAN Members to deliver to this brief.

Whilst audiences are at the heart of everything FAN does, its ability to reach those audiences in a collective setting is entirely dependent on the sustainability of the cinemas, festivals and other organisations that make up the Film Audience Network.

No one knows how long venues will remain closed but once they are able to open their doors again, it will be vital that buildings are still fit for purpose, core cultural assets have been retained and that they can benefit from a continued connection with the local communities that support them during the period of closure. For cultural organisations that do not operate from a publicly accessible venue the challenges may differ, but are still significant, and FAN will seek to alleviate pressure on its members in some way during this time of extreme difficulty.

About the Fund

The BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund has been launched with the intention of helping FAN members to maintain connections with audiences during the closure period and to be in a position to reopen and re-engage those audiences once the crisis has passed. This Fund is offered on the assumption that the disruption to audience activity could last 6 to 9 months and that the priority for all exhibitors and FAN members will be to get back on their feet as soon as venues are allowed to reopen (which may have to be on a partial basis to start with).

As such FAN, with support from BFI, has decided to direct the majority of its unallocated project funds towards this Resilience Fund which may mean that later in the year there is less available for ‘normal’ project activity. If however the Resilience Fund is not fully spent, any remaining funds will be reallocated to their original purpose enabling FAN Members to reach audiences with a varied and diverse film offering.

The total amount available is up to £1.3m. The BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund repurposes National Lottery funding originally allocated to each Hub for the purposes of supporting in-venue and other audience facing film activity over the next 6 to 9 months. Each Hub will therefore have a different amount of funding available within this overall total to offer in support of its Members.

Whilst the criteria and guidelines outlined below will apply across FAN, each Hub will have its own needs to meet and we expect this Fund to be heavily over-subscribed.
As such it is estimated that the average grant per organisation will be in the range of £5,000 to £15,000 and that grants over £20,000 will be exceptional. Grants must be used within 6 months of being offered or otherwise should be repaid. There are no formal match funding requirements for this Fund but we will expect to see clear evidence that you are actively seeking support from other appropriate sources.

The deadline for applications to the Fund is 6pm on Wednesday 6 May 2020. We do not anticipate issuing a further call for applications but this may be reviewed if the impact of Covid-19 is longer than anticipated and subject to initial demands on the Fund.

What is this Fund cover?

The purpose of this Fund is to support activity that will help FAN member organisations respond to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency. This might include:

  • Helping to maintain FAN member’s estate – buildings and other infrastructure such as IT – so that it is fit for purpose and ready for use once venues can re-open e.g. through assistance with rent, utilities, insurance and maintenance costs etc
  • Retaining cultural or intellectual assets such as staff that cannot be furloughed (e.g. leadership staff) or who are able to work on the organisation’s longer term sustainability e.g. through fundraising, audience engagement programmes etc
  • Offering short term support to meet irrecoverable costs incurred in planning or delivery of programmes that are now suspended
  • Audience engagement activity (including online) during the period of closure that will enhance Members’ ability to connect with its audiences and continue to contribute to FAN aims


Applicants must be FAN members that can demonstrate:

  1. (i)  Prior to 20 March 2020 a track record of substantive audience facing activity in line with BFI FAN priorities; AND
  2. (ii)  Immediate financial need;

Organisations that have been awarded BFI Audience Fund ‘Organisational Awards’ for 2020/21 are not eligible to apply even if they meet the above criteria.

Read more about the funding priorities in the guidelines here.

The following costs are ineligible under this Fund:

  • Costs or losses not incurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Costs for audience activity taking place beyond the next 6 months or for any activity within the next 6 months that involves in-venue audiences

In addition, funding does not cover costs that can be met by any of the Government’s emergency measures such as, but not limited to:

  • The Job Retention Scheme
  • Deferring VAT and Self-Assessment payments
  • The Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • The 12 month business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in England in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England with property with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5m for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • The HMRC Time to Pay Scheme
  • The Self Employment Income Support Scheme

For further information on these schemes and other relevant information, please visit the Government’s COVID-19 Support for Business page and the BFI’s COVID-19 support page which include information on the Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund.

To Apply

In the first instance you should contact your Film Hub lead by email and they will be in contact to discuss your application with you and advise what information is needed. Please also visit here for guidelines and more information. The deadline for applications is 6pm on Wednesday 6 May 2020.

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for funds, you may be able to request financial support through the BFI Access Support Scheme. Find out more information here.

Please give careful thought to how much you need to request from this Fund and only apply where no alternatives are available to you – this will help us ensure funding goes
as far as possible. If you are seeking support from elsewhere but do not yet know if you’ll be successful, you will be asked to set this out in your application.




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Repayable Grants Scheme opens – Deadline April 22nd

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The Film & Television Charity’s Covid-19 Repayable Grants Scheme is now open.

The new scheme offers financial grants of up to £2000 to support UK film, TV and cinema freelancers who are eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme but who are struggling with the wait for the Government payments due in June.

The repayable grants are interest free and applicants do not need to provide any guarantees. There’s no arrangement fee and recipients are asked to repay the grants once they have received their back-dated Government support.

What can I apply for?

You can apply for a repayable grant of between £500 and £2,000, which is intended to help cover essential living costs until the payment of your backdated SEISS income support in June. Applications should detail essential outgoings and grants will not be provided for costs that are non-essential or that can be deferred through other statutory assistance.

We know that many thousands of workers are finding themselves in difficult situations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to help as many of them as possible. Please help us by only applying for the amount you absolutely need to cover your essential living costs.

To Apply

Before you start your application, we encourage you to download and read the guidance carefully. This explains who is eligible, and how to complete the application form.

Details on how to apply as well as the full set of application guidance can be found here.

Applications close Wednesday 22nd April.





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Creative Growth Finance Debt Fund

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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.


What they offer

  • Loans of £100,000 – £500,000
  • Capital repayment holiday of 6 months
  • Fixed interest rates from 7% – 15%
  • Repayment terms up to 4 years
  • Initial decision to progress within 3 days
  • 5% management fee will be charged on payment of the loan



  • Your company must be registered in the United Kingdom
  • You must operate within the creative industries (by this we mean; Film, TV, Media, Immersive and Video Games, Advertising & Marketing, Digital & Creative Tech, Creative Software Solutions, Fashion, Architecture, Music, Publishing)
  • Your most recent annual turnover must have been at least £300,000
  • You must have at least one year of accounts filed at Companies House


The Investment process

  • To start your application, please follow the ‘apply here’ link below.  This will take you to an eligibility questionnaire.  If you meet the minimum criteria you will then be automatically directed to an Expression of Interest.
  • In the Expression of Interest we ask for some top level financial information – please complete the spreadsheet linked below and attach this to the online EOI.
  • The Investment team will review this information and make a decision within 3 days.
  • If your business in suitable, you will then be invited to submit a full application.  To complete this you will need an integrated finance model (more details about this can be found in the FAQs)  Also included is a version of an integrated finance model below for you to see as an example; management accounts; a sales pipeline and any other information you think might be relevant for us to review.
  • They commit to making all investment decisions within 4 weeks


To Apply

For further information on criteria, and the application process applicants must read the FAQs here

Before applying, please fill out the following spreadsheet: EOI Financial Information

Once you’ve completed the above, apply here.




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The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund is here

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The Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund has launched to provide much-needed support to the many thousands of active workers and freelancers who have been hit hardest by the closure of productions across the UK. Created by The Film and TV Charity in close partnership with the BFI, the fund opens for applications supported by initial donations totaling £2.5 million from Netflix, the BFI, BBC Studios, BBC Content, WarnerMedia and several generous individuals.

The time-limited fund – applications will remain open for two weeks – is being administered by The Film and TV Charity, with support from BFI staff. The Film and TV Charity and the BFI is covering all overheads, enabling donations to go directly to eligible workers and freelancers across film, TV and cinema. One-off grants of between £500 and £2,500 will be awarded based on need.

Applications for the one-off grants can be made via The Film and TV Charity’s website.

Read more about the fund here.

A new Repayable Grants Scheme to support freelancers who are waiting for Government support payments will open on Wednesday 15 April. For more information, click here.




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Creative Industries Federation’s Summary of Government Financial Support

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The Creative Industries Federation recognizes that there are challenges for the creative industries in accessing government support. The Fed team is in ongoing conversation with the government to ensure that this support better fits the needs of the creative industries. They are offering a breakdown of governmental support which has been announced. However, they caveat this information by particularly pointing to difficulties around accessing the loan scheme and delayed support for freelancers and self-employed.

Read their information summary below:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What is the scheme?
Employers can use the scheme to pay 80% of salaries for employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. HMRC will reimburse 80% of wages, up to £2,500 a month. The scheme covers the cost of wages backdated to 1 March. It is initially open for three months, but will be extended if necessary

Who can use the scheme?
All UK employers with a PAYE scheme can access this – including public sector, local authorities and charities

When can I access the scheme?
The scheme is not yet live. The government expects the first grants to be paid within weeks, and are aiming for before the end of April.

How do I access the scheme?

  1. You must ask your employees to stop working – designate them as “furloughed workers” and notify your employees of this change. Re-negotiation of employee status could be subject to employment law or individual contracts.

  2. Using the online portal, submit information to HMRC about furloughed employees and their earnings.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

What is the scheme?
The scheme will support self-employed people (including sole traders, freelancers, members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme provides a grant to self-employed individuals, worth 80% of their profits up to £2,500 a month. HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. If individuals have fewer than three years of returns the average of these will be taken. Open for at least three months, but payments will be available from the start of June at the earliest. Individuals will be able to claim these grants and still do business. 

Who can use the scheme?
You must have lost trading profits due to COVID-19. You are eligible if more than half of your income comes from self-employment and you have profits of less than £50,000. To evidence this, you can reference your trading profits and total income in 2018/19 or your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19. You must have filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. For those who have not yet filed for 2018-19, you will have an additional 4 weeks from the announcement to do so. You must have traded in 2019-20, be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19), and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021.

When can I access the scheme?
Grants are expected to start to be paid at the start of June 2020 (at the earliest). The scheme is anticipated to run for three months initially. Money will be paid straight into individuals’ bank accounts via HMRC in a single lump sum. In the meantime, self-employed individuals have options to defer income tax payments, access universal credit and some will be able to access CBILS loans from the BBB.

How do I access the scheme?

  1. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational.

  2. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account.

  3. For eligible individuals who have not submitted returns for 2018-19, you have 4 weeks’ notice from the date of the announcement to file your returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.

  4. Further details will be made available from the Government here in due course.

Protection from Eviction for Commercial Tenants

What is this?
Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 will be protected from eviction. No business will automatically forfeit their lease and be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment up until 30 June. This is not a rental holiday – all commercial tenants will still be liable for the rent down the line. 

Who can access this?
All commercial tenants in England, Wale and Northern Ireland are eligible.

How do I access this?
The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. No action on behalf of tenants is required.There is the option for the government to extend this period if needed.

Updated information on all Government support packages can be found here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

What is the scheme?
The scheme will help small and medium sized businesses access loans, overdrafts, finance and asset finance of up to £5m and for up to six years. The government is providing an 80% guarantee for each loan, with no charge for this guarantee. The government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and lender-levied fees, so you will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments. The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders (i.e. major banks) backed by the government-owned British Business Bank.

Who can use the scheme?
UK-based businesses with a turnover under £45m a year and a viable borrowing proposal, which explains how the finance will enable your business to trade out of short to medium term difficulty. You must generate 50% of your turnover through trading activity. This is implemented by local authorities, contact your local authority for advice on if you can apply as a charity.

When can I access the scheme?
The scheme is open.

How do I access the scheme?

  1. Speak to your usual provider (full list of lenders here). Go via their website. Because of social distancing, phone lines will be busy and branches may be closed.

  2. Updated information on all Government support packages can be found here. 

Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure


What is the scheme?
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. If your business received a retail discount in the 2019-20 year, you will be rebilled by your local authority as soon as possible.

Who can use the scheme?
You are eligible if your business is based in England and if it is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sectors. This includes businesses wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, for assembly or leisure, as hotels, boarding accommodation or self-catering accommodation, museums and art galleries, nightclubs, sport and leisure facilities, stately homes and historic houses, theatres, tourist attractions, Gyms,  wellness centres, spas, massage parlours, casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls.

When can I access the scheme?
This will apply to your business rates bill 2020-21. Local authorities may have to reissue your bill and are doing this as soon as possible.

How do I access the scheme?

  1. No action required – local authorities will apply this to your bill.

  2. This will apply to business rates bills for the 2020/2021 tax year. However, local authorities may have to reissue bills. We understand they will do this as soon as possible.

  3. To understand the value of the benefit to your business, visit the government’s business rates calculator. 

Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure


What is the scheme?
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry can access a one-off cash grant from their local authority of up to £25,000 per property. If your rateable value is under £15,000, you are eligible for £10,000. If your rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000, you are eligible to £25,000.

Who can use the scheme?
You are eligible if your business is based in England and if it is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sectors. This includes businesses wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, live music venues, for assembly or leisure, as hotels, boarding accommodation or self-catering accommodation. Your rateable value must be under £51,000. You must be a business rate payer. Freelancers could access the scheme if you are a sole trader with premises. Charities cannot access this. Updated information on all Government support packages can be found here. 

When can I access the scheme?
Your local authority will be in touch if you are eligible.

How can I access the scheme?
No action required – your local authority will be in touch.

Small Business Grant Funding


What is the scheme?
Government is providing additional funding for small businesses which pay little or no business rates because of ongoing small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. This will be a one-off grant of £10,000 to meet ongoing business costs. 

Who can use the scheme?
You are eligible if your small business is based in England and already receives small business rate relief or rural rate relief. You must occupy property. Freelancers could access the scheme if you are a sole trader with premises. Charities cannot access this.

When can I access the scheme?
Your local authority will be in touch if you are eligible.

How can I access the scheme?
No action required – your local authority will be in touch.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate

What is the scheme?
Small and medium sized businesses can reclaim statutory sick pay for staff sickness due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to two weeks per eligible employee who has been off work due to coronavirus. Eligible period for the scheme commenced on the 17th March 

Who can use the scheme?
Business based in the UK who are small and medium sized and employ fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020. This scheme does not apply for freelancers. This applies to illnesses of up to 14 days each employee who is sick or self-isolates from day one.

When can I access the scheme?
To be announced.

How can I access the scheme?
Payments will be made through HMRC, most likely through rebates to employees. Further government guidance on this is awaited. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible, although it’s possible that it could be several months until payments reach businesses. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website. 

Time to Pay

What is the scheme?
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible for support with tax. This will be agreed on a case by case basis, tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

Who can access the scheme?
You are eligible if you pay tax to UK government and if you have outstanding tax liabilities.

When can I access the scheme?

How can I access the scheme?
If you’ve missed, or are worried you will miss, a tax payment due to coronavirus, you should contact HMRC. You can call the helpline on 0800 0159 559. For more information on late payments, check with HMRC. 

VAT Deferral

What is the scheme?
Businesses will have VAT payments deferred for 3 months.

Who can access the scheme?
All VAT-registered UK businesses, including freelancers, can access the scheme.

When can I access the scheme?
The deferral applies from 20 March – 30 June 2020

How can I access the scheme?

  1. This is an automatic offer with no application required

  2. You do not need to make VAT payments normally due with VAT returns in this period

  3. Customers who pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit in good time

Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment

What is the scheme?
The Self-Assessment payment for your tax bill (usually due to HMRC by 31 July 2020) is deferred until January 2021.

Who can access the scheme?
If you are due to pay a Self-Assessment payment by 31 July 2020 you are eligible. This is optional. 

When can I access the scheme?
On 31 July 2020, when it will be deferred.

How can I access the scheme?
Automatic offer, no action required

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility

What is the scheme?
Large businesses facing severe disruption to cash flow can purchase short term debt – commercial paper to quickly and cost-effectively raise working capital to page wages and suppliers. The scheme is funded by central bank reserves and will run for a minimum of 12 months, or as long as needed.

Who can access the scheme?
Large businesses who are fundamentally strong but are facing severe disruptions to cash flow. Firms must be able to demonstrate they were in strong financial health before but do not need to have issued commercial paper. Eligible businesses should have a short or long term rating of investment grade as of 1 March 2020, or similar. If you do not have a credit rating, you can ask your bank to make an assessment and then contact to discuss your potential eligibility. Another potential route to evidencing credit status is for your firm or your bank to get in touch with one of the major credit rating agencies to seek an assessment of credit quality in a form that can be shared with the Bank of England and HM Treasury, noting that you are doing so because you wish to use the CCFF. Firms should be UK incorporated companies, including those with foreign-incorporated parents and with a genuine business in the UK; companies with significant employment in the UK; firms with their headquarters in the UK. Considerations apply if the business generates significant revenues in the UK, serves a large number of customers in the UK or has a number of operating sites in the UK. 

When can I access the scheme?

How can I access the scheme?

  1. Contact your bank

  2. Applications must be made through the Bank of England’s website.


Link Summary

You can access this info via these links:

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
Protection from Eviction for Commercial Tenants
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
Small Business Grant Funding
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate
Time to Pay
VAT Deferral
Deferral of Self-Assessment Payment
COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility




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Production Guild’s online resources for the screen industry

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In light of recent events, The production Guild have set up a page with links to support members which includes advice, updates, guidance and industry and national institutions that can provide assistance if needed. They also continue to liaise with key partners, stakeholders and the Government to ensure relevant measures are taken and adequate support is available for those affected by Covid -19.

Below is their summary as of April 3rd, 2020. You can find the link with regularly updated information here.


Government advice

GOV.UK – You can find all the latest practical advice around COVID-19 on the Government’s website here. (You can also find a summary of government schemes here.)

Industry advice

BFI – The BFI have produced a Q&A which sets out information and guidance they have so far on COVID-19 and its impact on the sector at large – including for freelancers, exhibitors and productions. It signposts resources and support made available by Government and other stakeholders and covers the following topics: General advice and guidance, Freelancers and the self-employed Cinemas, exhibitors and SMEs Read more

Pact – Pact have produced advice around COVID-19 and its potential impact on productions  – read more

BECTU – BECTU have released advice around COVID 19, including information for freelancers working in film and TV and workers in theatre, live events and the arts – read more

The Film and TV Charity – is available 24/7 on 0800 054 00 00. It offers emotional support, advice and also support grants if you’re experiencing significant financial difficulties and discuss issues in relation to freelance workers and those on limited hours contracts. Read more

Industry Support funds

COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund – The BFI and Film and TV Charity have set up a new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund with a £1m donation from Netflix UK to support the industry with short-term relief for active workers that are directly affected by the Coronovirus. To be the first to hear when the fund launches, join their mailing list here

Film and TV workers fund for location support – The sole purpose of this fund is to assist members of the locations department who have and will encounter immediate financial difficulties resulting from the unprecedented shutdown of almost all productions in the UK because of the Covid -19 Pandemic Read more

Arts Council England – has pledged £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and we have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of our funding. Read more

Creative Scotland 
has launched three funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak – a Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund, a parallel Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund and The Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development: Read more

The Royal Theatrical Fund – The Royal Theatrical Fund provides support for people of all ages who have worked in the entertainment industry. Read more.

Financial and employment updates

IR35 Tax reforms postponed – Postponement of IR35 tax reforms announced Chief Treasury Secretary, Steve Barclay, has announced that the IR35 tax reforms will be postponed by one year until 6 April 2021. So our activity around the legislation changes will take place later in the year along with the webinar and best practice recommendations. In the meantime if you have any queries please email

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Employment law implications (Wiggin) – An employment law update regarding the implications of COVID-19 has been provided by PG affiliate, Wiggin. This covers sick pay and changes to statutory sick pay, time off for dependents, homeworking, and an update on the delay to 1R35 changes. Members can access the advice on our resources page here.

Coronavirus Relief Measures –  What you need to know (Wiggin) –  these guidelines have been published by PG affiliate Wiggin LLP which members can access on our resources page here.

COVID-19: guidance for employees – read the latest Government advice here.

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) – read the latest Government advice here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – The CJRS will be open to all UK businesses and will allow employers to reclaim up to 80% of the wage costs of ‘furloughed workers’ (i.e. workers that they can’t afford to pay because of the crisis), up to a cap per worker of £2,500 per month. Read more.

Self Employment

The industry has welcomed new financial support for self-employed workers announced by the Chancellor on Thursday. Those eligible can claim grants worth 80% of their average monthly profits up to £2,500 a month. The support can be backdated to March, but money will not be paid out until June. We’ve found the Martin Lewis video – linked below to be a useful overview of the support available and how to manage your cash flow until these payments are received.

HMRC will be administering the scheme and contact you with information on how to apply, and we will update you with guidance as we get it.

Read the Chancellor’s statement in full.

Watch Martin Lewis’s summary here.

Mental health organisations

Mind – provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. they campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. Read more.

Anxiety UK – works to relieve and support those living with anxiety and anxiety-based depression by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy. Read more

Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

The Production Guild have put together a list of charities and organisations which can be found in their mental health resource here.

If you’re currently self isolating, or about to, here is some helpful advice recorded by the BBC.




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