Production Restart Scheme boosts UK economy by £2.25bn

14 Apr 2023


Saffery and international consulting firm Nordicity have today published the findings of a new economic evaluation of the Production Restart Scheme – a government backed indemnity scheme launched by the (then) Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to cover certain Covid-19 related losses incurred by UK film and TV productions.

The Scheme commenced in October 2020 and committed to absorbing up to £500m in Covid-19-related losses incurred by UK-based film and TV producers. It closed to new applicants in April 2022, covering losses incurred up to June 2022.

The research and economic evaluation published today, which was commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI) for DCMS, found that the Scheme was critical to helping UK producers resume production of independent films and television programmes, whilst restoring their business confidence during the pandemic.

Key findings:

  • 1,259: The number of individual TV and film productions supported by the scheme
  • £3.06bn: The total production expenditure of productions registered with the scheme
  • £1.6bn: More than half of the production expenditure by scheme registrants came from the High-End TV sector, reflecting its wider growth in importance to the screen industries (HETV spend accounted for 69% of the industry’s total in 2022 according to the BFI)
  • 552: almost half of the productions registered with the scheme were factual / documentaries
  • £49.5m: The expected value (at the time of publication) of compensation claims paid to registered productions – approximately 10% of the £500m budgeted for by the scheme
  • £19.5m: Net cost (at the time of publication) to the government of the scheme (i.e. total expected claims and operating costs less collected scheme registration fees)
  • £2.25bn: Additional gross value added (GVA) generated by the scheme incorporating direct, indirect and induced economic impacts (ranging from job creation to supply chain spend). £1.15bn of GVA was directly within the UK’s TV and film industry
  • 48,500: Full time equivalents (FTEs) of employment generated by the scheme

Stephen Bristow, partner at Saffery and one of the lead authors of the report, said:

“The film and TV industry is one of the UK’s true success stories, delivering huge amounts of domestic and international economic value. The sector has recovered strongly from Covid-19, where factors ranging from lockdowns of filming locations through to sickness of cast members and crew posed a huge threat and stopped many productions in their tracks. The Production Restart Scheme was a critical lifeline at this time, with the government stepping in to provide financial peace of mind where the emerging situation was too volatile for the commercial insurance market to perform its usual role. What’s clear is that the government, and taxpayer, got real value for money from the scheme with a significantly higher return on investment than the government’s standard benchmark. Indeed, without the scheme in place the government would likely have faced significantly higher costs through supporting out of work film and TV employees through CJRS, SEISS or Universal Credit.

“The government has continued to recognise the importance of the film and TV industry, stepping up and taking action as required – whether that’s the Production Restart Scheme or the recent reforms to tax credits. That should rightly be applauded, and is a signal that the industry is poised for continued growth and vitality.”

Contact Us

Stephen Bristow
Partner, London

Key experience

Stephen is a Partner in the Film and Television Unit at media accountants Saffery. He specialises in providing strategic policy...