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Leaving the EU: Film Industry Funding

Volume 635: debated on Thursday 8 February 2018

7. What steps he plans to take to maintain the level of funding for the film industry after the UK leaves the EU. (903827)

The UK film industry is worth £4 billion a year to the UK economy. The Government are committed to supporting the industry and are consulting stakeholders to ensure that the sector continues to thrive after we leave the EU. The Prime Minister has made it clear that, where possible, we will continue to participate in EU programmes where there is mutual benefit to the UK and the EU, as there is in the case of Creative Europe, for example.

Blaenau Gwent’s stunning scenery makes us an ideal location for UK films and television series, and the Creative Europe programme has supported the cinema distribution of more than 100 UK films in European markets in recent years. Will the Government ensure our continued participation in Creative Europe after we leave the EU, because it has been such a success?

I agree that Creative Europe has been a success and that the hon. Gentleman’s constituency of Blaenau Gwent is a wonderful location, which has been used for many broadcasting opportunities. We are very committed to our role in Creative Europe. We recognise its value, and the Treasury has committed to honouring all applications, even those that are likely to require funding post-Brexit. We can be optimistic, although of course during negotiations there can be no guarantees.

Amid this tour of the UK, Derbyshire and Dorset, may I remind the Minister that the county of Sutherland in my vast and remote constituency offers huge potential for the UK film industry? We have some of the most majestic scenery and Dunrobin castle. What “Downton Abbey” did for Highclere, a new show could do for Dunrobin castle.

The hon. Gentleman makes a very good case for Dunrobin castle, and I am sure he will be able to make the most of that as he lobbies for broadcasters to beat a trail to his constituency.

A Cook’s tour of the United Kingdom awaits the Minister. I am sure that she looks forward to it with eager anticipation and, I hope, bated breath.