Film London Gets Cash Infusion

Capital city aims to attract more high-end TV and animation projects

LONDON — With new U.K. tax relief for high-end TV and animation approved by the European Commission last week, London mayor Boris Johnson has announced £2 million ($3 million) in new investment in film and media agency Film London.

“We are at the dawn of a golden age of TV production in London,” said Johnson, speaking Thursday at the capital’s Ealing Studios. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow this exciting sector to deliver jobs, produce more world class British drama and, above all, make London the city of choice for TV and animation production. Let’s make sure that all future ‘Downtons’ are filmed on our turf.”

Ealing is home to Julian Fellowes’ “Downton Abbey” and Andy Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish’s performance-capture studio The Imaginarium (pictured above).

Film London is charged with bringing in $303.3 million of extra production expenditure from TV and animation and creating 1,000 new industry jobs in the capital. The investment includes $1.14 million to promote the development of the TV and animation sectors.

London is already the third busiest city for film production in the world, behind L.A. and New York, attracting major Hollywood productions recently including “Fast and Furious 6,” “All You Need is Kill,” “Jack Ryan” and “Maleficent.”

Warner Bros. opened its Leavesden Studios last year while Marvel Studios, which based “Captain America: The First Avenger” and the upcoming “Thor: The Dark World” in London, is in pre-production on “Guardians of the Galaxy” and will base the second “Avengers” film at Shepperton Studios.

The city is home to approximately 75% of the U.K. industry. Film London generated $1.17 billion in production investment over the past four years and has been collaborating with the mayor’s office since 2003 to boost jobs, support U.K. talent and attract high-end productions to the capital.

“Having worked with the mayor’s office for the last 10 years to transform the capital into a film friendly city, we now welcome the same task for high-end TV and animation,” said Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission.

Filming volume in London grew 21% in 2012 with 17,604 filming days, making it the busiest year on record for production in the capital. Features accounted for 1,778 filming days, up 42% on 2011. The film tax credit is estimated to have provided $227.5 million between 2010 and 2011 to support London’s film industry. The new high-end TV and animation tax relief came into effect April 1. High-end TV dramas with U.K. budget spends exceeding $1.5 million per hour will be able to claim relief on up to 25%.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps to Star

    Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps to Star in Multi-Camera Comedy Series for Netflix

    Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps are headed to Netflix. The streamer has ordered a multi-camera comedy series starring the two comedians titled “The Upshaws.” The series centers on a working-class Africian American family in Indiana struggling to make it work and make it right without the blueprints to do it. Sykes will executive produce and [...]

  • Vader Streams Shuts Down

    Vader Streams Shut Down by Hollywood Studios

    A coalition of Hollywood studios and streaming companies announced on Tuesday that they have shut down Vader Streams, which was once a popular source of pirated TV content. The service went offline in early May under mysterious circumstances, leading to speculation that the operator had either absconded or been forced out of business. The Alliance [...]

  • Søren-Sveistrup

    Netflix Teams With 'The Killing' Creator for Crime Thriller 'The Chestnut Man'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  — Further expanding its Scandinavian footprint, Netflix has announced its second Danish original series, “The Chestnut Man,” a police thriller based on “The Killing” creator Søren Sveistrup’s popular novel. The streaming giant will team with Sveistrup’s SAM Productions, minority owned by Studiocanal, part of Vivendi Canal Plus Group, to deliver this noir-influenced literary [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    ICM Blasts Writers Guild Over Withdrawal of State Lawsuit

    ICM Partners has slammed the leaders of the Writers Guild of America over its decision to withdraw from its state court lawsuit in favor of refiling the action in federal court. The agency, which was sued in April by the guild and eight WGA members over charging allegedly illegal packaging fees, issued a statement Tuesday [...]

  • succession

    'Succession' Renewed for Season 3 at HBO

    “Succession” has scored an early Season 3 renewal at HBO. The news comes as the critically-acclaimed drama series is just two episodes into its second season. Season 1 of the series was recently nominated for five Emmy Awards, including for best drama series. “We are elated that ‘Succession’ and its exploration of wealth, power and [...]

  • Kaley CuocoHilarity for Charity Sixth Annual

    Kaley Cuoco HBO Max Series 'The Flight Attendant' Sets Creative Team

    The creative team set to bring Kaley Cuoco’s dark comedy series “The Flight Attendant” to HBO Max has taken shape. The series, which tells the terrifying story of a flight attendant (Cuoco) who wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man and no idea what happened, has tapped Susanna [...]

  • Mayim Bialik

    Mayim Bialik Signs Warner Bros. TV Production, Talent Holding Deal

    “The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik is expanding her relationship with the production studio behind the long-running CBS comedy. Bialik and her newly launched Sad Clown Productions banner have signed an exclusive multi-year production deal with the studio, coupled with a talent holding provision for her acting services. Bialik is bringing on former Chuck [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content