UK screen content boosts economy by £6bn a year

An independent report published Tuesday 24 February has confirmed the importance to the UK economy of the creative industries, with over £6bn generated by UK screen content.

Camera in the air

Although the report is published every two years, this is the first time it has covered high-end TV, video games and animation, thus presenting a much broader picture of the industry's impact as a whole.

The report was commissioned by the BFI, Pinewood Group plc, the British Film Commission, UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) and Pact, and was produced by analysts Olsberg•SPI and Nordicity. It covers categories affected by the UK's Film Tax relief, such as feature film, high-end TV and animation - the latter has supported over £50m of production expenditure in its first 12 months of operation.

The figures break down as follows, in terms of additional revenues provided to the Exchequer: £1.1bn from films; £249m from high-end TV; £429m from video games and £52m from animation.

With every studio bulging at the seams and expanding their footprint, and new facilities being built, it may be no surprise to learn that film production in the UK directly contributes over £1.4bn to UK GDP.

And with high-end TV increasingly drawing in top writers, directors and actors, the genre looks set to continue to boom, with the spend 87% higher in the first 12 months of its inclusion in the scheme then the previous year.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "The UK's film, TV and video games industries are amongst our nation's biggest success stories. When you look at Star Wars: Episode VII being filmed at Pinewood, the global popularity of Downton Abbey and the phenomenal success of Rocksteady's "Batman Arkham" video game series, it's clear the sector is only getting stronger. This report highlights how they're each a powerful driver of growth and the incredible impact our creative industries are having on our economy.

"We're determined to cement the UK's position as the best place in the world to create and shoot film, TV, animation and video games. The tax reliefs we've put in place are a key part of our long term economic plan, and it's fantastic to see the huge boost they've delivered to this highly creative and dynamic sector."

And with children's live action drama set to be included in the tax relief scheme from April, who knows what the next report will bring?

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