£500M Film and TV Production Restart Scheme

On 28th July, Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced the launch of a new £500 million scheme to help jump-start UK film and television production struggling to secure insurance for COVID-19 related costs.

The new Film and TV Production Restart Scheme will enable UK productions to get back up and running by providing cover for coronavirus-related losses such as filming delays or cast and crew illnesses.

This is fantastic news for the production industry, ensuring that production teams can get back to creating the high-quality TV shows and features that we all enjoy equipped with sufficient cover for disruptions and delays that arise from the pandemic,” says Dr Laurence Sargent, Director of Sargent-Disc, Co-Head of Cast & Crew International.

Draft Scheme Rules and supplementary Explanatory Notes have been published by DCMS and HM Treasury here.

How it works

The government has introduced this temporary measure to cover productions which commence filming before the end of 2020 for COVID-19 related losses. The scheme will allow productions to backdate future claims to 28th July 2020 as per the initial announcement. The registration deadline has been extended to 23.59 GMT on 28th February 2020, and claims can be submitted up to 23.59 GMT on 30th November 2021 for losses incurred up until 23.59 GMT on 30th June 2021.

Eligible productions will be able to apply for compensation for costs caused by coronavirus delays up to a value of 20% of the production budget. Abandonment of productions will be covered by up to 70% of the budget, upon agreement with the Government that it was necessary. There is a total cap of £5m on claims per production.

Alongside ensuring they are adequately insured by purchasing cover for non-coronavirus risks, productions will need to pay an appropriate excess during the claims process as well as a fee when joining the scheme.


Eligible productions will need to have spent at least half of their budget in the UK and provide evidence that they are unable to start up again due to a lack of insurance. The scheme is expected to support over 70% of film and TV production until the end of the year.

Further details around the claims process and eligibility requirements will be released in the near future.

This is very welcome news from the UK government, who have worked at pace with the UK’s film, TV and broadcasting industry to develop a fund that will unlock tens of millions of pounds of production spend and help to get production companies and freelancers back to work doing what we do best – making great programmes for the UK and global audiences,” says John McVay, Pact CEO.

DCMS and HM Treasury will be reviewing the scheme periodically to ensure it supports film and television productions to restart following the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, visit the HMRC website here.

This article is for general information purposes. It is not addressed to any specific parties and does not constitute advice (legal or otherwise) to any person.