The Committee for Economic Development has once again confirmed that it will not provide financial support to the adaptation of Toilers of the Sea.
The producers of the film were asking for a contribution of public funds between £500,000 and £2million. However, ED said it cannot commit to this while the island is under significant financial pressure.
The Committee said: “Like any investment, financing a film has risks and commercial success is not guaranteed. Members expressed the view that, as custodians of taxpayers’ money, they would not feel comfortable financing a film when there is no guarantee of a return on the investment.
“In addition, given the current pressures on government finances and the fact that this is not an identified priority in the Government Work Plan, members felt that it would not be appropriate to provide investment finance in a film, over and above funding other Government priorities that have already been identified.”
Pictured: Film producers Dave Shanks and Joy Mellins.
This isn’t the first time the Committee has come to the decision, having told the producers back in February 2021 that they should look elsewhere for investment.
However, Mr Shanks and Ms Mellins secured a meeting with the Committee’s President, Deputy Neil inder, earlier this month, to pitch for support again.
In a subsequent letter to the couple, Deputy Inder said: “Committee Members valued the opportunity to meet with both of you, in order to get a better understanding of your progress to date and the specifics of your request for the Committee to provide investment finance.
“Unfortunately, the Committee does not have access to significant amounts of uncommitted funds and, given the inevitable risk attached to a project of this nature, does not feel it would be appropriate to invest taxpayers’ funds in this way.
“The Committee’s view remains that you will need to seek investment finance from private individuals or corporates to fund the production costs of the Toilers of the Sea film, as stated in the Committee’s previous letter of 12th February 2021.”
Pictured: Deputy Inder said the Committee would be available for “logistical support” if and when the production comes to the island.
The Committee added that only £2million of the proposed £15million budget would be spent in the Bailiwick of Guernsey: “As such the wider economic benefits for the Bailiwick do not justify the high level of proposed investment from taxpayers.”
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