Industry support for COVID-19

Posted on 18th March 2020 by Charlotte Nixon

A message from Northern Film + Media:

We at NFM, and across our development programmes Tees Valley Screen, NFM Academy and North East Comedy Hot House, want to express our profound support for colleagues in the industry who are affected by COVID-19 and who may have lost work, are self-isolating or have seen their venues close to the public. These are uniquely challenging times, and we will be signposting the support available to our industry, both regionally and nationally, below.

In line with government guidance, we have postponed all upcoming events, including this Friday’s ‘High End TV Panel Event’ at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and next Friday’s ‘How Mentoring Works’ at Darlington Hippodrome. We will be rethinking these events as soon as we can.

In the meantime, our primary focus is to keep working, to keep supporting and developing the industry in any way we can. This page will be updated as and when support resources become available.

The Film and TV Charity

The Film and TV Charity acknowledge the potential impact of coronavirus on people working in film + TV, particularly freelancers. Their 24/7 Support Line for anyone needing advice is 0800 054 000, and they also have a live chat service.

Creative Industries Federation

Creative Industries Federation have collated advice from across the sector to provide information to those in the creative industries who are affected. They are also encouraging freelancers to become members of the Federation for FREE for 6 months.


For the latest information and guidance on COVID-19 and what it means for the sector at large, visit the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU)’s Screen Sector Q&A.


The Association of Independent Professionals + the Self Employed, IPSE, are updating constantly about how they’re helping freelancers and the self-employed.


The BFI and Film and TV Charity have partnered to create a new COVID-19 Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund, backed by a £1m donation from Netflix, to help support the film + TV community. This fund will provide emergency short-term relief to the workers/freelancers directly affected by the closure of productions across the UK.

Gov UK

On the 26th of March, the government announced that it will pay self-employed people a taxable grant based on their previous monthly earnings over the last three years, worth up to 80% of earnings and capped at £2,500 a month. To be eligible, you must have annual “profits” (self-employed earnings) of less than £50,000 a year, according to HMRC.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England have announced their Emergency Response Package for COVID-19, £160 million of investment for people and organisations in the cultural sector.

The Prince's Trust and NatWest

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest have established a £5million Enterprise Relief Fund, which offers grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. The initiative also offers one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it.

Film Hub North

Film Hub North, in partnership with colleagues across the BFI Film Audience Network, have launched the COVID-19 Resilience Fund, designed to help organisations during periods of closure and support a vibrant, sustainable film culture in the region.

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