Pinewood to run Manx film fund

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The Independent Online

Pinewood Shepperton isn't just playing host to the film makers – now it is investing in the movies.

The film studios group is taking over the running of a £25m movie development fund on behalf of the Isle of Man government.

The fund has already backed Oscar-nominated animation Chico & Rita and BBC2 television thriller The Shadow Line.

Pinewood, which is controlled by John Whittaker, the property magnate and Isle of Man resident, already has a small pot of cash it uses to back a handful of low-budget British films every year.

This new fund supports productions that are shot wholly or in part on the island.

As part of the arrangement, the Isle of Man government is also seeking Parliamentary approval for it to acquire a stake of up to 19.9 per cent in the studio group.

Peel Holdings, Mr Whittaker's company, also owns the BBC's new northern base in Salford and the Mersey Docks.

It has a 71 per cent stake in Pinewood with the majority of the the balance held by the northern jeweller Warren James.