January 31, 2022
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, & Sport (DCMS) commissioned RSM UK Consulting LLP (RSM) in May 2021 to undertake a Process Evaluation of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme.
The Scheme was announced on 28 July 2020 and officially launched on 16 October 2020. Its aim is to enable UK film and TV productions to restart following disruptions caused by Covid-19. The Scheme does this by providing direct compensation to production companies to meet costs incurred from delay or abandonment of productions. It targets mostly independent UK production companies that cannot cover the cost of Covid-19 risk themselves. A market failure in the insurance sector means that productions do not have access to commercial insurance covering Covid-19 related losses.
The focus of the Process Evaluation was the delivery of the Scheme, what had worked well, and less well, in its implementation, and any lessons to be learned for similar future schemes. The evaluation did not consider the Scheme’s contribution towards its intended outcomes or impacts. A separate evaluation will be commissioned to assess the impact and value for money of the Scheme.
Key findings of the Process Evaluation include:
- targeting: according to design and oversight stakeholders, the Scheme has successfully reached this intended audience — almost 90% of survey respondents were independent companies and all respondents were based in the UK;
- applications: a key aspect of the Scheme that worked less well was the lack of clarity on the documentation and information needed to apply;
- claims: despite time taken to process claims, only one respondent noted that their claims payment was delayed; most felt that the handling of the claim had no negative impact on their productions or production planning;
- delivery: delivery was largely assessed positively by production companies and stakeholders; involvement of the BFI and Pact in the design of the Scheme was considered positive as it provided DCMS with key insights into what production companies needed; the collaborative environment was cited by most stakeholders as a positive factor and key contributor to the Scheme’s success;
- decision-making and governance: stakeholders were largely positive about the participatory processes and decision-making capabilities of the Steering Board, including its efficiency; the use of industry stakeholders and bodies such as the BFI was pivotal in the delivery of the Scheme, including through Steering Board representation; it was suggested that more clarity on updates and extensions to the Scheme would have been beneficial; and
- future of the Scheme: before the registration fee increase from 1% to 2.5% from 1 November 2021, most broadcasters and financiers required most of their productions to register to the Scheme; one broadcaster had a blanket requirement regardless of production type or length; however, in response to the change in the fee, broadcasters and financiers suggested that they are likely to consider registration requirements more on a case-by-case basis, assessing the risk/potential loss of each individual production; the importance of the Scheme was still stressed, however, in providing support to the industry as it seeks to provide ongoing coverage to Covid-related losses, which are increasing rather than decreasing; stakeholders highlighted that clarity is needed regarding the end of the Scheme, ideally well in advance of April 2022.
To access the Process Evaluation, click here.