New U.K. survey tallies showbiz

U.K. facilities sector employs 25,000

LONDON — The U.K. facilities sector employs more than 25,000 people and is responsible for annual revenues in excess of £2.2 billion ($3.3 billion), according to the first survey of this side of the country’s creative economy.

The sector’s work is split across TV (52%), film (18%) and commercials (18%), per the report commissioned by the U.K. Screen Assn. in partnership with Ascent Media and the U.K. Film Council.

Although an estimated 1,300 companies work in the sector, only a few have achieved genuine scale.

Biz is dominated by small- and medium-sized firms, with 99% employing fewer than 250 people and 78% employing fewer than 10.

“Generally, this sector is in good health, although last year was unquestionably a very difficult year for facilities companies working in broadcast post-production. But in terms of film, it was a record-breaking year at the British box office,” said U.K. Screen CEO Gaynor Davenport.

She added, “We are trying to increase understanding of what the facilities infrastructure brings to film and TV production. In an age of digital sophistication, facilities companies are getting involved in the production process earlier and earlier, in some cases before a single shot is filmed.”

The research for the report was done by Olsberg SPI, a strategy consulting firm specializing in film, TV and interactive media, along with Trends Business Research.