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€1.46bn new Creative Europe fund opens in UK

€1.46bn new Creative Europe fund opens in UK
Pippa Considine
29 January 2014

Creative Europe, the European Commission’s seven year funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors, is launching in the UK this week, with 9% more funding now available to creative businesses across Europe.  
Creative Europe has a €1.46 billion budget over seven years. It combines the European Commission’s existing Culture and MEDIA Programmes and is expected to benefit over 300,000 cultural professionals. It will support the distribution of over 1,000 European films.
The new Creative Europe programme features a new bank guarantee, the Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Fund, which is set to be introduced in 2016. The fund is worth €121million and will see Creative Europe underwrite bank loans to creative businesses, helping to unlock private finance to support the continued growth of the creative industries and to educate the financial sector about the benefits of backing creativity.

Creative Europe will be delivered in the UK through a new partnership between the BFI and the British Council.

Creative Europe Desk UK is a new information and advice service to promote Creative Europe in the UK, replacing the former MEDIA Desk UK and Antennae and the UK Cultural Contact Point. 

Creative Europe Desk UK, under the joint leadership of the BFI and British Council, brings together partners from across the UK including Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen, Creative Scotland and Arts Council Wales and the Welsh Government, and will see the establishment of a dedicated information office in each of the UK’s nations, and in one of the English regions outside of London.   
The UK audio-visual industries benefitted from funding worth just over €100m through the MEDIA programme which ran until 2013. Around €50m supported UK companies directly, including production companies (Ruby Films, Sixteen Films, Recorded Picture Company and many others), distributors, cinemas, training courses, markets and festivals.

The other €50m supported the cinema releases of British films across Europe, with examples including €1.5 million for The Iron Lady, €1.3 million for Slumdog Millionaire and €1 million for The King’s Speech.
Michel Magnier, director for Culture and Creativity at the European Commission, comments: “UK filmmakers, artists and cultural professionals deservedly enjoy recognition from audiences and peers worldwide, and UK cultural organisations are sought-after partners in creative European collaborations - bringing expertise and inspiration, while challenging assumptions and the status quo. The UK’s audio-visual industry brings to Europe a wealth of talent and professionalism, with filmmakers who are cherished across the continent and indeed the world, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Stephen Frears, Clio Barnard to mention just a few."

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