Mel Stride: British productions deserve our support

Thousands of productions – including the widely-anticipated series five of Idris Elba’s hit BBC One drama – have benefitted from the government’s creative industry tax relief.

The British Film Institute said this support is playing a vital role enabling the industry to work on the global stage, while generating thousands of jobs.

Treasury Minister Mel Stride said the booming UK industry is now giving Hollywood and Bollywood a run for their money.

In the last year, almost 300 films and TV shows and a further 2,000 theatre productions, including festive pantomimes, claimed tax relief.

Britain’s world-leading creative industries benefited from over £850 million of support through this HM Treasury scheme in the last year. Since its introduction, 2,420 films, 530 TV productions and 480 videogames have benefited from the tax reliefs.

As such, families sitting down together this Christmas most likely enjoyed a production made possible because of this. These included:

  • festive treats such as the Dr Who Christmas special and Snowman
  • gripping dramas like Luther and Bodyguard
  • family-friendly favourites including the Jungle Book and Mary Poppins Returns

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said:

Original British productions deserve our support. They not only make a valuable cultural contribution to the UK, they are also a crucial part of our economy.

Thanks to your support our industry has gone from strength to strength and is giving Hollywood and Bollywood a run for their money.

The TV guides and festive calendars this Christmas are another reminder of our booming creative industries which, with the backing of the Treasury, will continue to grow in 2019.

The Chief Executive of the British Film Institute, Amanda Nevill, said:

The government’s screen sector tax reliefs play a vital role in enabling our film and television industries to work on a global stage and do what they do best – creating world-class film and television, generating thousands of jobs for talented people working in front of and behind the camera.

UK-made films and television productions are a vibrant part of our storytelling culture, celebrated by audiences at home and abroad and showcase UK creative excellence to the world.

Further Information

  • the UK’s creative industries made a record contribution to the economy in 2017 growing to over £100bn (compared to £95bn a year earlier)

  • creative sector tax reliefs were first introduced 10 years ago to support production companies filming in Britain

  • in 2013, the scheme was expanded to include high-end TV, video games and theatre (which includes pantomimes)

  • once a TV or film company meets the qualifying criteria, it allows producers to claim a significant rebate on a large part of its expenditure

  • to be eligible for the film, high-end TV, animation, video games or children’s TV tax relief, a production must be culturally British

  • productions are assessed by a “cultural test” or co-production treaties administered by the British Film Institute

  • last year, some 180 UK films, 90 TV shows and over 2,000 theatre productions claimed this tax relief

  • in total, over £850m was paid out to the creative sector through the scheme during 2017-18

  • several well-known productions on the TV guide and in cinema this Christmas have claimed creative sector tax relief. Notably: Avengers: Infinity War, Bodyguard, Dr Who, Holmes and Watson, Killing Eve, Paddington, Ready Player One, Snowman and the Snowdog, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book, The Inbetweeners Movie, and Watership Down

  • creative Tax Relief is available for: films, high end TV, animation programmes, video games, children’s TV, orchestras, theatre productions, and museum and gallery exhibitions

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