Skip to main content

Domestic Film Industry

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

15. What plans he has for future assistance to the domestic film industry; and if he will make a statement. (310901)

The UK Film Council annually receives about £25 million of grant funding and £30 million of lottery funding, which it invests in supporting British film. The Government will continue to provide film tax relief; we provided £100 million-worth of tax credit last year. The proposed merger between the UK Film Council and the British Film Institute will create a single streamlined body that will deliver even more for UK audiences and for the film sector.

I thank the Minister for his reply. It is reassuring that the British film industry appears to be in a reasonably healthy state. What is the Department doing through other bodies to encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage in art and drama and, thus, have the potential to become the stars of the future?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question. He is a great champion of such access for people from ordinary backgrounds in his constituency. He is right that British film is undergoing a bumper year, with three quarters of fantastic figures so far and fabulous figures expected tomorrow thanks to 10 years of the kind of investment that I have been talking about. Last week, I visited the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, which cannot be beaten in the world as an elite institution that is bending over backwards to draw in pupils from the broadest possible social base and to support them.