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Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky said Thursday that it has committed to donate £500,000 ($625,000) to a recently established emergency relief fund to support the U.K.’s creative community amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, set up by the Film and TV Charity in partnership with the British Film Institute using National Lottery funding, launched earlier this month with an initial £2.5 million ($3 million) pot to distribute to industry creatives impacted by the crisis. It is providing grants to thousands of industry workers and freelancers who have been directly affected by the suspension of productions across Britain.
“Those who work behind the scenes are the backbone of TV and film production in the U.K.,” said Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios. “At this incredibly difficult time, it’s important that we do all we can to support our most needy freelance colleagues, and we hope that this donation will help to alleviate some of the immediate financial challenges many of them are facing over the coming weeks and months.”
Said Alex Pumfrey, CEO of The Film and TV Charity: “Sky’s support is a fantastic boost to the Emergency Relief Fund that will make a huge difference to many.”
Sky has also made other commitments to help amid the virus crisis in the U.K., including supporting the National Health Service’s front-line staff with unlimited access to data and calls, “prioritizing the vulnerable and those self-isolating with alternative methods of communication where we cannot carry out critical repairs and prioritizing the needs of vulnerable customers and key workers through our contact centers.”
Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch has also said that he will donate his salary to COVID-19-related charities for the duration of the virus crisis.
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