Government scraps BFI Film Centre plans
by Naman Ramachandran
18/06/2010 - The UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport has scrapped its ambitious plans to build the British Film Institute Film Centre. This is part of the newly elected Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government’s plans to create savings across the board.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt, said, “As part of my department’s contribution, we have examined a number of schemes to determine whether they remain a Government priority, value for money, and affordable in the current economic climate. This has involved some incredibly difficult decisions, but the cultural and sporting worlds, like everyone else, urgently need the country’s finances to be returned to a sustainable position.”
Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said, “It is obviously disappointing that the severe financial problems facing Britain mean that the Government can’t contribute at present to the BFI Film Centre. Although we are unable to commit to some large-scale capital investment projects while tackling this unprecedented deficit, I am planning to fundamentally reassess how the Government supports film in this country. I want to make sure that we are supporting the film industry so that it is ready for the challenges it will face in the decade to come, and that we make sure every pound of public money we spend gives the maximum benefit.”
The savings from this will be £45m. The Government has also cancelled the BFI’s digital access project, saving £2.5m. However, the Government is still funding the building of a new film store to safeguard the National Film Archive.