Brown backs new national film centre
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced £45 million of funding towards a new British Film Institute (BFI) National Film Centre. The state-of-the-art facility, which will be located on London’s Southbank, will showcase the best of British and world cinema across five screens and provide a new space for exhibitions, cultural events, research and study.
The Centre has been a BFI dream for years and was championed by former Chairman, the late Anthony Minghella. The London Mayor’s office has allocated £5 million towards the Centre and the BFI plans to raise another £20 million from the sale of its Stephen Street premises, leaving a further £80 million to be raised. The Centre is expected to be operational by 2015.
Brown said, “Britain has achieved worldwide respect for its innovative and vibrant film industry, exceptional arts and rich cultural heritage. This project creates a new home for British film right at the heart of London’s cultural centre on the South Bank.
“These are challenging economic times but with backing from the public and private sector, the commitment to the new National Film Centre demonstrates the government’s continuing support for the arts in Britain, and our determination to invest in leading creative industries as part of our economic recovery. This is a great British success story and shows what can be achieved with a government that backs talent and gets behind industry.”
Mayor Boris Johnson said, “The BFI is a one of the jewels in the crown for cinema, for the country, and across the whole world. It offers an unparalleled variety of films, old and new, and its archive, library and burgeoning digital activities are second to none.”
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