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Kent Development Fund accepting applications

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The new Kent Development Fund for film and TV production in Kent has now started accepting applications.
The fund is being managed by Kent County Council’s Kent Film Office, which is looking for applications in four areas:
· Development – all stages of project and script development, particularly for feature films and long-running TV productions that will be based in the county.
· Production – All stages of production and post-production, particularly for feature films and long-running TV productions that will be based in the county.
* Skills and training – Any ‘on the job’ training opportunities or apprenticeship schemes for Kent residents within the film or broadcast media sectors.
* Infrastructure – Any capital projects that will grow the infrastructure of Kent’s creative industries sector, with special emphasis on film and broadcast media.
Applications will be considered by the Kent Film Office and successful projects will then be presented to the Kent Development Fund panel for final approval. Application forms are available online at: www.kent.gov.uk/filmoffice
Kent County Council launched the fund to support and encourage film and TV production in the county and it is the first local authority to provide a fund specifically for this purpose. The fund will provide £200,000 a year to support production in a range of ways from funding script development to investing in both Kent-based and external production companies who want to come and film in the county.
It will also be used to attract additional funding from Europe, regional development agencies and private investors, with the aim of increasing spend into the Kent economy and promoting the county as a prime location for film and TV projects.
The fund was created after a successful pilot project between production company Maeve(Medb) Films, based in Ramsgate, and the Kent Film Office. Kent County Council provided £75,000 of funding for feature film ‘The Calling’, which was made in the county and starred Kent actress Brenda Blethyn.
The initial investment attracted other investors to the project, including Screen South, Courtyard Studios, Maidstone Studios and The Hop Farm, which resulted in £500,000 of spend into the Kent economy before the film was even screened. The investment also secured jobs for eight trainees from Kent on the production.
It showed that directly supporting film production in the county could bring significant economic benefits including the creation of training and job opportunities in one of the few remaining growth industries in the UK.
Kent County Council is making financial support available for future projects because the south of England is one of just two areas in the UK that does not already have a film production fund. The support is needed to keep Kent competitive with other locations in the UK.

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