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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
Big cash boost for UK film training
Bend It Like Beckham
The money will try and ensure films like Bend it Like Beckham (pictured) are made
More than 50m is to be poured into a new initiative to attract more young people into the UK film industry.

An ageing workforce has film bosses worried, and the money will go to setting up more film industry training courses.

The Film Skills Fund will get money from major film companies, EU funds, the Lottery and the UK Film Council.

Government figures show film and video production employs more than 50,000 people in the UK.

Other estimates put the amount of funding in the UK film industry in 2002 at 500m.

The Film Skill Fund money will be split into 10m amounts over the next five years.

This is a ground-breaking initiative
Education Secretary Charles Clarke

A movie industry audit earlier this year found the rising age of people working in the film industry could lead to future problems if not addressed soon.

Many of those in senior roles in camera, sound, post-production and design are already over 50, it found.

'Significant impact'

New blood in areas ranging from scriptwriting to set design was seen to be the answer, the audit found.

"This will make a significant impact on the long-term success and sustainability of our film industry, and its prosperity on the world stage," said Stewart Till, head of the Film Skills Action Group, a new industry body which has helped set up the fund.

"This is a ground-breaking initiative. The film industry, through Skillset and the UK Film Council, has produced a strategy which should really make a difference, " said Education Secretary Charles Clarke.

"It has the potential to provide exciting training and development opportunities to the many talented writers, directors, actors and producers in the UK's film community."

Recent British film hits include Bend it Like Beckham, horror film 28 Days Later and Calendar Girls.


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