The UK Government today revealed plans to jointly invest $212M (£150M) with industry into the creative sectors, a move hailed by Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain President Josh Berger. With continued investment in the creative industries, the Government is hoping that inward investment in UK film and TV production can double from more than $2.8B (£2B) in 2017 to at least $5.7B (£4B) by 2025. Inward investment is currently driven almost entirely by U.S. studios, networks and mini-majors.
In today’s Industrial Strategy deal, agreed between Government and the Creative Industries Council (CIC) and announced by Digital And Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, the Government highlights the importance of new UK film and TV production facilities for achieving economic growth. The Government references upcoming multi-million dollar expansions at Pinewood and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, as well as Pacifica Ventures’ recent $140M (£100M) deal for a new East London studio and a new film and TV studio project in Liverpool called Littlewoods Studios. The Government points out that over the last five years inward investment in Britain’s film and high-end TV industries grew by more than 100% to more than $2.8B in 2017, and “with the right conditions that annual figure could double again by 2025.” Those conditions include the UK’s lucrative film and TV tax credits, which are currently guaranteed by the Government.
Inward investment films made in the UK during 2017 included Disney’s Dumbo, Solo: A Star Wars Story and Aladdin, Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Paramount’s Mission Impossible 6. In 2017, film and TV inward investment actually crossed $3B, according to the latest BFI stats.
Drilling down into the investment announced today, plans include $55M (£39M) for the Arts and Humanities Research Council and $47M (£33M) to invest in immersive tech such as VR video games, interactive art projects and AR experiences in tourism. $2.8 (£2M) will go to the Get it Right campaign to tackle online piracy and there will also be investment in a new London school which will include creative industries-oriented diplomas. The Government will also launch a Cultural Development Fund for cities and towns to bid for a share of $28M (£20M) to invest in creative and cultural initiatives.
According to the Government, Britain’s creative industries — including music, fashion, design, arts, architecture, publishing, film & TV, advertising, video games and crafts — are worth $130B (£92B), employ two million people and are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.
Today’s investment plan was hailed by Josh Berger, President and Managing Director Warner Bros. UK, Ireland & Spain and Chair of the British Film Institute, who said, “Incredible crews, fantastic facilities and the Government’s direct and continuing support for the creative industries – through organisations such as the BFI, and now the sector’s formal inclusion in the industrial strategy – are crucial to a thriving production industry in the UK. Warner Bros’ experience in the UK has been such a positive one, from developing state of the art facilities and helping train the next generation of creative talent, to the entire business of producing our films here. We have been investing in the UK for many years because for us this country is, alongside Hollywood, the best place in the world to make movies.”