§ Mrs. Viginia Bottomley
I have today announced the Government's response to the report of the advisory committee on film finance. Copies of the press release have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Government are grateful to Sir Peter Middleton and his committee for their expert analysis of the obstacles to raising investment finance of British film making and for their recommendations on how these obstacles might be overcome.
The Government have accepted most of the committee's recommendations. Specifically:
the Government intend to work with the film industry and financial sector to establish a new forum to promote better understanding of each other's activities. The new body, which will be chaired by Sir Peter Middleton, will be called the Film Finance Forum;
the Government will consult the film industry and other interested parties on the statutory definition of a British film and will consider, in the light of comments received, whether changes to the existing definition are necessary;
the Government welcome the announcement by the Arts Council of England that it intends to apply national lottery money more strategically to the film industry to help create the market-focused film making structures recommended in the report;
the Government will continue to negotiate in Brussels for a European audiovisual guarantee fund which is entirely commercial in its approach and private sector led from the outset.
The Government did not accept the recommendations made by the committee regarding improvements to the tax regime for the film industry or staying in the Council of Europe's Eurimages co-production programme.