A new UK report highlighting the seismic impact of tax reliefs on the creative industries has been welcomed by the UK Government, which has said it will remain “committed to supporting the creative industries through tax reliefs.”
The film and high-end TV tax credits are among the UK’s biggest calling cards when it comes to attracting mega inward investment from Hollywood studios, which generate the lion’s share of production spend in the territory.
According to the report by consultancy and research firms Olsberg SPI and Nordicity, titled ‘Screen Business: How tax incentives help power economic growth across the UK’, an estimated £632M in tax relief seeded £3.16B in direct production spend in 2016, a 17% increase on 2015.
In 2016, UK-made productions generated £7.9B as the screen sector’s overall economic contribution (GVA), including £2B in tax revenues. Production spend which would not have taken place without the tax reliefs was worth £4.1B in 2016. The dossier claims that more than 137,000 full-time equivalent jobs (FTEs) were generated by tax-relief supported screen production in the same year and the growth of the screen industries outstripped that of the wider economy between 2013-16.
The study was commissioned by the publicly-funded BFI, working with the British Film Commission (BFC), Pact, Pinewood Group, UK Interactive (Ukie), the UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK.
Surprisingly, the report does not mention Brexit. However, its commission is timely at a moment when the UK government is keen to stress the strength and value of the UK as an international trading partner and base for investment. Meanwhile, the BFI is keen to impress on government the importance of on-going financial support for the film and TV sectors which could miss out on EU money in coming years after the UK leaves the European trade bloc.
Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in the report, “From TV shows like The Crown, to films like Darkest Hour, and animations like Peppa Pig, our creative industries are intrinsic to the rich cultural fabric of the UK. But they’re also an important part of a dynamic and diversified economy, and a key component of our great, global trading nation. That is why this government is committed to supporting our highly-skilled and innovative creative industries through creative sector tax reliefs. I am confident that the creative industries will continue to grow, provide strong employment and be the face of British culture to the world in future years.”
Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO commented, “This new report endorses the huge part the government’s tax incentives play in our success story, creating a fiscal environment that’s boosting the economy, creating jobs and supporting our outstanding talent and infrastructure. The reliefs are also of huge cultural importance, enabling talent to produce the richest possible range of films, television programmes and video games, which create IP, and are loved by audiences both at home and around the world.”