Brit culture minister offers assurance on funding

Vaizey says regional orgs will get coin after UKFC folds

LONDON — Blighty’s culture minister Ed Vaizey announced that regional screen agencies and British Film Commission activities would be safe as the government maps out a blueprint for administering U.K. lottery film funding.

At a meeting at the Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport on Wednesday, he said the government had discussed a number of methods for distributing public money to producers once the U.K. Film Council shutters in April 2012.

Options include channeling the annual $48 million through organizations such as the Arts Council of England, the British Film Institute or indie tech body Nesta.

Vaizey also confirmed that the government would unveil more concrete plans for the framework of the industry in November.

In the preliminary meeting, Vaizey told key industryites from the BBC, Pinewood Shepperton and the BFI, that Blighty’s tax credit would stay in place.

He pointed out that funding from the National Lottery would even be increasing to $51 million from next year.

“I want a robust and coordinated strategy to promote the U.K. as the best place to invest in filmmaking and to provide real support and advice to filmmakers and investors alike,” he said.

“I want to make sure that public funds generate value for a wider audience and are focused where they can really make a difference.”

Since the government announced it was shuttering UKFC on July 26, industryites on both side of the pond have been up in arms.

Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks have reached out to Brit politicians while a slew of thesps including Emily Blunt, James McAvoy and Bill Nighy have protested its abolishment.

On Sept. 13, UKFC topper John Woodward announced his resignation.