KFTV's Film & TV Finance Magazine - page 16-17

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 K F T V
g u i d e t o f i l m & t v f i n a n c e
w i t h t h e n e t h e r l a n d s f i l m f u n d & n e t h e r l a n d s f i l m c omm i s s i o n
s p o n s o r e d f e a t u r e
The total fund is worth approximately £3.8m and we are able
to invest anywhere between £100,000 and £1m per project.
Creative England is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the growth and development of the creative
industries in England (excluding London, which has its own framework). By working with a wide range of
partners from both the public and private sectors, it nurtures talent, identifies opportunities and promotes the
English regions to the international market.
C
reative England can also offer
production funding in some
scenarios, says Richard Holmes, an
experienced producer who oversees this
area of Creative England’s remit: “A great
example is our West Midlands Production
Fund (WMPF), which is designed to bring
film and high-end TV drama into the region.
The total fund is worth approximately £3.8m
and we are able to invest anywhere between
£100,000 and £1m per project.”
As with all funds of this kind, producers need
to pass a regional test to be eligible, says
Holmes, and there are also financial criteria.
“Our investment must be matched pound for
pound by an equivalent amount of private
and/or public sector risk finance, for example
from the BFI, broadcasters or private equity
investors. Producers also need to commit
to a level of local spend that equates to
150% or more of what Creative England has
agreed to invest. Assuming they meet these
requirements, the fund unlocks a great mix of
locations, crews and service providers, all of
which can be accessed through our highly-
regarded production liaison service.”
In terms of locations, the West Midlands
offers a superb array of contemporary
architecture, sites of industrial heritage, and
areas of great natural beauty, says Holmes.
“The West Midlands covers everything
from Birmingham and the Black Country to
Shropshire and Herefordshire. We don’t have
beaches or craggy mountains but we do have
Shakespeare Country and historic towns like
Warwick and Leamington Spa.”
High-profile productions to have been based
here in recent times include Hustle, Line of
Duty, Dancing on the Edge and Spooks The
Movie, says Holmes, adding that the region
has also doubled for other parts of the world:
“The region’s cityscapes have doubled for
London, Berlin and Toronto,” he notes.
Producers interested in accessing the WMPF
need to be aware that it may take up to 8
weeks to process their application and to
reach a funding decision. They also need to
apply by mid-September 2015 at the latest –
and Holmes urges people to take advantage:
“The WMPF is part-financed by the European
Regional Development Fund Programme. The
programme is due for renewal from next year,
so there is no guarantee that UK funding will
return in the same form. So my advice would
be to act now to take advantage of what the
WMPF can offer.”
On the issue of regional relevance, Holmes
says: “We look favourably on stories that
relate to the region, but the prime purpose
of the fund is to bring economic activity to
the West Midlands. So projects don’t have to
have local storylines as long as they meet our
local production requirements in terms of the
amount of time and money that is spent in the
region.”
Holmes is not too prescriptive about the
profile of productions that Creative England
wants to support. But he does say that a long-
running high-end TV series would certainly
achieve the development goals that the
WMPF was designed to support. “If we could
attract West Midlands’ answer to Game of
Thrones it would be a big boost to the region’s
talent base and profile!”
For comprehensive information about
applying for the WMPF go to:
Production funding in
England’s West Midlands
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