The U.K.’s film and TV production restart scheme won’t be open to applications until it’s secured State Aid approval from the European Union — a process that’s still ongoing, with no clear end date in sight.
“I was hoping it would be several weeks ago, I hope it’s tomorrow, but I just don’t know,” John McVay, CEO of U.K. producers trade org Pact, told Variety on Thursday.
As the scheme remains in limbo, the European Union Commission is planning legal proceedings against the U.K. for breaching its obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement from the European Union. However, it’s unclear whether that initiative will impact the fund in any way.
The £500 million ($644 million) scheme is designed to help U.K. productions that have been suspended and aren’t able to secure insurance going forward, or are yet to shoot due to lack of insurance but can begin principal photography before the end of the year.
“We pushed for the draft guidelines to be published earlier than perhaps the government wanted to, because we wanted the market to understand what was involved in applying to the fund, how it was structured and what you’d have to pay, so people could plan for that as they were getting production up and running again, or if they were already in production, what they’d have to start doing in order to collect the evidence required to be eligible for the fund.” said McVay.
“We’re pressing hard for more information to come out just as soon as government is comfortable to do that. I would have issued all of this much earlier, but I’m not government,” he continued.
Plans for the fund — proposals for which were first revealed by Variety in May — were officially announced in late July. Terms of the scheme were unveiled