New BFI-Backed Content Fund Launches in the U.K.


Calculus Capital and Stargrove Pictures are working with BFI on a new fund to support high-end productions in the U.K.

Last year, the BFI Commission for UK Independent Film recommended the establishment of an Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) to bring new investors into the content space and help British producers scale up their efforts. Calculus Capital and Stargrove Pictures have been tapped by BFI to manage the UK Creative Content EIS Fund, with a target of raising £20 million in the first year alone. The fund is targeting £2 return for every £1 invested, over a target four- to six-year investment horizon. The minimum investment is £10,000.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said, “Never before has the world been so hungry for stories, to be enjoyed on screens big and small. The U.K. is at the center, the master storyteller, driving an industry that is amazingly worth almost £8 billion to the economy and growing. In the midst of this expansion, we are acutely aware of the need for investment so that film and other screen content companies can scale up. The BFI is excited about the opportunities this fund will present for a new wave of investors to get involved with our magical industry alongside Calculus and Stargrove, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge.”

John Glencross, CEO and co-founder of Calculus Capital, added, “This is a new breed of EIS fund in this sector. It will focus, not on project finance, but on building and growing companies involved in a broad variety of popular productions, across a range of platforms. Throughout the fund’s development, Calculus, Stargrove and the BFI have worked to ensure our objectives and investment strategy are aligned with the true spirit of EIS legislation, which is how we’ve always operated.”

He continued, “Netflix and Amazon have achieved global growth by offering original premium content to subscribers. Traditional studios, distributors and broadcasters are responding to the challenges of this changing and expanding market. With exceptional talent and infrastructure, the U.K. is already well on the road, generating unprecedented spend in the U.K. on making new films and television productions and well positioned to benefit from this trend. We are also seeing increased merger and acquisition activity around content companies. All of this is creating compelling investment and exit opportunities for investors.”

Digital and Creative Industries Minister Margot James noted, “The U.K.’s Creative Industries are now worth more than £100 billion to the U.K. economy and through our modern Industrial Strategy, government and the sector are working together to create further investment opportunities. This new fund will give our exciting creative content companies the chance to grow and develop even more content that will resonate with viewers both in the U.K. and globally.”

Stephen Fuss, CEO of Stargrove Pictures, said, “This is an exciting time for the U.K. creative industries. We will use our expertise to identify exciting new talent, and our experience and contacts to help investee companies to grow, innovate and succeed. The fund will unleash investment in the U.K.’s creative industries and enable independent U.K. screen content companies to retain a greater financial interest in the intellectual property they create so they can capitalize on their projects and talent and grow their businesses further.”