Funding

There are a wide range of national and regional funding incentives on offer to productions working in the UK.

For more information on the individual incentives please contact us, or follow the links below.

UK-wide funding

BFI

The BFI Film Fund has a number of funding strands, investing over £26m of Lottery funds per year to support film development, production (including majority and minority co-productions) and distribution activity in the UK.

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Film4

Film4 is Channel 4’s film production arm. They invest £15 million annually to develop and finance films for theatrical release in cinemas, working collaboratively with filmmakers and often in partnership with other funders. They prioritise stories with contemporary relevance based around British-led talent or content and only accept proposals via production companies or agents.

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Creative Europe

Creative Europe is a European media and culture funding programme, with a budget of €1.46 billion for 2014-2020. Funding support is available for TV programming, single project development and slate project development.

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Enterprise Investment Scheme

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is a UK Government scheme designed to help smaller unquoted trading companies to raise finance by offering a range of tax reliefs to investors who purchase new shares in those companies. The model has become widely used in film development and production. Investment can be directly into the company, or through and EIS fund.

The three key reliefs are:

  • Income Tax Relief on the amount subscribed for Qualifying Shares;
  • Capital Gains Tax exemption;
  • and Capital Gains Tax deferral.

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Regional and national funding

England

The Yorkshire Content Fund

  • Up to £500k per project
  • Open to producers wishing to film or establish a base in the region

The Yorkshire Content Fund is a public-private investment fund for the TV, film, video games and digital sectors in Yorkshire and Humber, open to producers either based in Yorkshire or wishing to film or establish a base in the region.

Managed by Screen Yorkshire, the YCF can invest from £10,000 to £500,000 in individual film or TV dramas. We normally invest no more than 10% of the total production budget and our investment must be matched on identical terms with an equivalent amount of private sector investment.

Investments are made on market rate commercial terms, with the intention that investment returns will produce a legacy fund to support content development and production in Yorkshire for many years to come.

The fund is open to applications but all applicants must complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form prior to completing a full application.

Screen Yorkshire accepts EOIs on a rolling basis. They will then contact you to advise on whether they recommend progressing the application and what further information they will require to assist them in evaluating the project formally.

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West Midlands Production Fund

The West Midlands Production Fund supports the development of the West Midlands as a dynamic, sustainable film and TV drama hub by providing access to finance for start-up SMEs that are active in moving image content production. Previous investments have included The Girl with All the Gifts.

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.

The Fund can invest up to £500,000 in any one feature film or TV drama project – with the preferred minimum investment being £100,000. The Fund is able to invest a mixture of both debt (by way of gap, pre-sales discounts, distributor advances and UK Tax Credit discounting) and equity.

The level of the Fund’s overall investment will be commensurate with the proposed project and higher-level awards will only be made to projects that carry a greater prospect of commercial return as well as a powerful regional impact.

Any investment by the Fund – either as debt or equity – must be matched £ for £ by an equivalent amount of private and/or public sector risk finance, on terms to be agreed. Coinvestment from public or quasi-public investors such as the BFI, BBC and Channel 4 (excluding broadcast licence fees) as well as in certain circumstances EIS/SEIS and the UK Tax Credit can be treated as eligible match, in addition to investment from independent private sector investors. Projects attracting significant levels of private investment will be given priority by the Fund.

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.

This is a rolling fund so there is no current deadline for applications.

All prospective applicants must complete and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form online prior to making an application.

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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Screen Production Funding

  • Up to £800k per project
  • Must show a direct economic benefit to the region

Northern Ireland Screen (NIS) offers production funding in the form of a recoupable loan with profit participation or in limited circumstances, a grant.

The fund is intended to assist in completing budgets on productions which are almost fully financed. NIS will not consider a production with less than 65% of its funding already in place.

NIS is looking for productions which contribute to building a sustainable screen industry in Northern Ireland and which can show a direct economic benefit to the region. Projects must be commercially viable and able to demonstrate clear possibilities for commercial exploitation.

In the case of feature films, the attachment of an experienced sales agent would be an asset, as would UK or US domestic distribution. For television, an expression of interest from an international distributor or network broadcaster is preferable.

Funding is available towards the production of feature films, television drama, animation, factual and entertainment television and interactive content.

The Northern Ireland Screen Fund can invest a maximum of £800,000 for feature film and television production funding and a maximum of £500,000 for interactive content production, up to a ceiling of 25% of the overall production budget. However, very few projects are awarded the maximum amount.

The Northern Ireland Screen Fund is open to all legally incorporated companies who can fulfil the British Cultural Criteria and the project Criteria.

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Scotland

Production Growth Fund

  • £1m available
  • Deliver significant economic benefit to Scotland

The Production Growth Fund aims to help grow Scotland’s screen production sector, creating employment opportunities for Scottish crews, encouraging the use of production facilities, providing significant opportunities for the professional development of producers based in Scotland, and delivering a direct and significant economic benefit to Scotland. It seeks to do this by attracting large scale productions, and maximising spend in Scotland. The Fund has a budget of £2m for the period 2018/19 and is available to qualifying productions in the form of a non-recoupable grant.

They will fund live-action and animated features, and live-action and animated high-end television drama series that demonstrate the ability to create employment opportunities for crew, that utilise production facilities companies based in Scotland, provide co-production opportunities for producers based in Scotland and that deliver a direct and significant economic benefit to the screen production sector in Scotland.

You can apply for a grant towards the budgeted production costs of a project that will be shot and/or post-produced wholly or partially in Scotland.

 Producers based within and outside Scotland can apply if they are able to demonstrate that by accessing the Production Growth Fund they will secure major production and/or post-production expenditure within Scotland, employing cast and crew based in Scotland, and/ or using Scotland-based production facilities companies, thereby significantly increasing the economic benefit to Scotland. If you are a producer based outside Scotland, the attachment of a Co-Producer based in Scotland could enhance the overall benefits for Scotland, which taken together with a significant spend to funding ratio will strengthen your application. Applications for the support of projects that aim to maximise training opportunities for crew based in Scotland are encouraged and welcome.

Awards are likely to range from £200,000 up to a maximum of £500,000. The ratio of the Estimated Scottish Spend to the level of funding requested should be a minimum of 8:1.

There are no deadlines and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all the funds have been allocated. Decisions will take up to 12 weeks from the date we receive your application form and we have all the relevant information required to make a full assessment.

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Wales

Media Investment Budget

The Media Investment Budget can provide commercial funding for TV and film productions.

Decisions to invest from the television and film investment fund are made on a case by case basis and on the condition that you shoot at least 50% of your production in Wales. 40% of your below the line production budget must also be spent on ‘Welsh Production Expenditure’, which is defined as expenditure on goods and services supplied by businesses and individual freelancers located in and operating from or within Wales. This spend will need to be evidenced at the end of each project, through an independent, audited report.

The Welsh Government (WG) will share in any commercial upside from film or television projects, whether in box office receipts or where television programmes are distributed globally.

They are happy to look at projects from a fairly early stage, but in order to make a decision on whether or not they would consider investing in the project, they would require the following information

•    Script
•    Budget
•    Finance plan showing other investors
•    Sales Estimates
•    Evidence of any pre sales confirmed
•    Any cast and key personnel attached

>It helps if you have the following firmer details to make a more swift decision:

•    Confirmed producer
•    Confirmed budget of shoot, including Welsh spend
•    Completion guarantee from a bond company
•    Confirmed cast
•    Major territory presales to give WG confidence in sales estimates provided
•    Complete finance plan

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