U.K. Sweetens Incentives for Film, TV, Videogame Industries

LONDON — The U.K. government has sweetened incentives for the film, TV and videogame industries as part of its annual budget statement, announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday.

The government has increased the rate of film tax relief to 25% for all qualifying expenditure. This measure improves the relief for films with a qualifying budget of £20 million ($29.3 million) or over. Previously, the rate of tax relief for those films was 25% of the first £20 million ($29.3 million) of qualifying U.K. expenditure, with any excess qualifying U.K. expenditure receiving a 20% tax credit.

There is no change for films with a total core expenditure of £20 million ($29.3 million) or less. Production companies for those films are already able to claim a cash rebate of up to 25% of U.K. qualifying film production expenditure.

“Against increasing global competition for large-budget films, this is great news for the U.K. film industry,” John Graydon, partner at accountancy firm Saffery Champness, said. “On a film costing $100 million the producers will receive up to $2.5 million additional tax relief.”

As expected, the government has extended the high-end television tax relief by reducing the minimum U.K. expenditure requirement from 25% to 10%. It has also announced that it will “modernize” the cultural test, which is used to judge whether a film or TV show qualifies for support.

Many Hollywood productions have benefited from the U.K. tax credit. Among those films last year to be certified as British, and thus eligible for the tax relief, were “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Maleficent” and “Thor: The Dark World.”

The government is introducing a new children’s television tax relief from April, which will include children’s programs that are game shows or competitions, Osborne announced Wednesday.

All these changes in tax relief will need the approval of the European Commission.

To invest in skills and business development in the creative industries, the government will also extend the Skills Investment Fund, providing £4 million ($5.87 million) to “ensure that it can continue to match fund support for training and development in film, television, visual effects, video games and animation for a further two years.”

It will also “promote a vibrant business environment” for new and growing video-games companies across the U.K. by committing £4 million ($5.87 million) to a new Video Games Prototype Fund over the next four years; this fund is “designed to aid access to finance and business support, and to target games development talent.”

British Film Institute CEO Amanda Nevill welcomed the boost for the local industry. “Today’s budget demonstrates the government’s continuing commitment to screen industry reliefs, which do so much to benefit the U.K.’s screen industries and the U.K. economy overall,” she said in a statement. “This welcome support, alongside lottery funding for talent and skills development, is vital to the ongoing growth and success of the U.K.’s burgeoning and world-leading creative industries.”

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: “The U.K. is a creative powerhouse, and today’s enhancements can only help our screen industries go from strength to strength. Governmental support has proven invaluable, so the new Children’s Television Tax Relief is an incredibly positive step. Similarly, the enhancements to the High-End Television, Animation and Film Tax Reliefs will make the U.K. an even more popular destination for international clients and potential co-producers. This, of course, will in turn help our award-winning infrastructure thrive while creating new jobs and encouraging new investment.”

More Digital

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    NATPE 2020: TV Biz Looks Back and Forward as Streaming Wars Ensue

    MIAMI — The atmosphere at the annual NATPE conference this year was a bit of old school and a lot of new school. In keeping with NATPE’s remit as a content market, hopeful stars of new fall talk show prospects pressed the flesh in a flurry of meetings and receptions with station buyers. MGM TV’s [...]

  • Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games -

    NBC to Produce Four Daily Tokyo 2020 Olympics Shows for Snapchat (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC is again turning to Snapchat as part of monetizing its Olympics media rights — coveting the app’s millions of millennials and Gen Z users. NBC Olympics and Snap inked a renewed pact to present coverage of the XXXII Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, as well as the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, to Snapchat users [...]

  • Adobe Premiere Pro_Productions

    Adobe Premiere Pro to Add Project Management, Multi-User Collaboration Tools

    Adobe Premiere Pro is about to get better at working on big projects — and letting multiple users collaborate on the same video production. The vendor is adding a new set of tools called “Productions” to its Premiere Pro video editing software. Those will provide features for managing projects and sharing assets among them, along [...]

  • Amazon Italy

    Amazon Moving Into Italian Originals With Multigenre Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon is moving into Italian originals with a multigenre slate comprising “Bang Bang Baby,” a Milan-set mob drama with a young woman at its center, a comedy series centered around popular local star Carlo Verdone, and an unscripted food travelogue titled “Dinner Club.”  The streamer’s first forays into Italian scripted content were announced Thursday at [...]

  • 100 Thieves

    Esports Organization 100 Thieves Unveils New Facility in Los Angeles

    As of Wednesday, popular esports organization 100 Thieves has an official home in Los Angeles. The group unveiled its new 15,000 square-foot facility, officially named the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, in a media preview with some of its biggest personalities and investor Scooter Braun on hand. Also in attendance was Jack Dorsey, the CEO [...]

  • Amazon Music

    Amazon Music Tops 55 Million Users, Still Playing Catch-Up to Spotify and Apple

    Amazon is famously reluctant to release specific numbers about its users, so it’s notable that the e-retailing giant announced that it has surpassed 55 million customers worldwide for Amazon Music. The company didn’t reveal how many of those users are on its various pricing tiers, but said subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited grew by more [...]

  • The Crown Season 3 Oliva Colman

    Record Intl. Growth Sees Netflix Beat Q4 Earnings Forecast

    Fast growth in international markets, contrasting with only sluggish subscriber gains in North America, was a major factor behind streaming giant Netflix’s better than forecast growth in the last quarter of 2019. The company is set on keeping up that international momentum. Globally Netflix added 8.76 million new customers in the three months to December [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content