UK announces Global Screen Fund to replace Creative Europe’s MEDIA funding

The UK government this week announced their own ‘Global Screen Fund’ which will partially replace funding from Creative Europe.

The scheme was announced as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spending review on 25 November. The new initiative will be worth £7m in its first year, which is significantly less than Creative Europe’s MEDIA fund provided before Brexit.

“The Global Screen Fund, worth £7m in 21/22, will support independent British screen content, in particular film, to compete across international markets,” the Treasury said. “This pilot fund will support the development of independent UK content, to help maintain a vibrant and sustainable UK independent screen sector. In this difficult fiscal climate, this funding demonstrates the Government’s strong and continued commitment to growing the independent screen sector.”

Some in the sector have welcomed this funding in a difficult COVID climate. British Film Institute chief executive Ben Roberts said on Wednesday: “Today’s £7m for a pilot Global Screen Fund announced as part of the government’s Spending Review is a positive result for the independent screen sector in what we appreciate is a challenging fiscal climate. Given the significant contribution of film, TV and video games to the UK economy and our position in the global market, we welcome this new funding which will enable the industry to further grow international partnerships, build on export opportunities and increase our return on investment.”

Though the scheme will provide funding for the creative sector, some argue that it does not go far. It is well below the £17m the BFI said was necessary to save the sector back in June.

Caroline Norbury MBE of the Creative Industries federation said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s focus on levelling up and innovation in today’s Spending Review, along with the recognition that investment is needed to grow and evolve particularly hard-hit sectors like the creative industries. Our sector plays an integral role in not only driving economic growth, but creating better, healthier and happier places, and we know from research that a targeted and tailored approach is what’s needed to ensure strong recovery in all parts of the UK.”

The government revealed in February that the UK would not be renewing its MEDIA membership for the 2021-2027 period. This is despite the fact that non-EU countries are permitted to take part in the fund.

It is not yet known who will administer the new Global Screen Fund.

Words by Emily Withers


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