Animation U.K., the body that represents the British animation industry, has merged with the U.K. Screen Assn., which represents production facilities and specialist services firms, including those in the VFX and post-production sector, to establish a new trade body, the U.K. Screen Alliance.

The new organization was launched earlier this week at an event at Prime Minister Theresa May’s residence in Downing Street held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Aardman Animations, the studio behind “Wallace and Gromit,” “Shaun the Sheep,” and “Chicken Run.”

Speaking at the event, as chair and founder of Animation U.K., Oli Hyatt said: “With one voice, representing all parts of the animation industry … we can build on our strengths, make sure we take up all opportunities and address any concerns by working closely with all partners, including the government and the key funding organizations.”

He added: “We need to tackle skill issues, ensure our businesses and production companies are supported and developed, that our talent is curated and that our IP is harnessed.”

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Matt Hancock, Britain’s government minister for digital and culture, said: “The creative industries are a great success story for the U.K., contributing a staggering £84 billion ($107 million) a year to our economy, and supporting 1.9 million jobs. British animation plays a central part in that success, and is renowned all over the world for its innovation and distinctive humor.

“I look forward to working with the U.K. Screen Alliance to ensure the ongoing strength of our screen industries, and am pleased we have recognized Aardman’s contribution to animation with this event at Downing Street.”

The British animation biz is worth an estimated £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) a year to the U.K. economy, and attracts around £300 million ($380 million) of inward investment a year. The sector has been boosted by the 25% Animation Tax Credit, which came into force in early 2013.