the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

28 July 2010

BECTU film production reps meeting later today (Wednesday 28 July) will have their first opportunity to discuss the government's decision, announced on 26 July, to axe the UK Film Council.

Martin Spence speaks to a packed audience, WPD event 18 March 2010Martin Spence, BECTU assistant general secretary. Pic: Jonathan Warren

The union, which counts thousands of workers in film production, distribution and exhibition, amongst its membership issued a press statement on Monday condemning the decision to abolish the Council in 2012.

In the statement, assistant general secretary, Martin Spence, said:

“This decision is economically illiterate and culturally philistine. Film is an export success story: we sell British production skills throughout the world. And film is also a crucial cultural resource. But the industry is desperately fragmented and long experience tells us that it needs a national agency to achieve its potential.”

He added:

“This is all about politics. It’s all about Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey playing tough. And meanwhile the film industry – and the thousands of workers who make their living within it - will pay the price.”

Major role

The UKFC plays a major role in the film business and administers the qualifying test for determining which films are British films and eligible, therefore, to apply for the film tax credit.

BECTU is concerned that the loss of the Council will damage the industry's future prospects and create the very waste which the proposal claims to seek to eradicate.