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U.K. Industrial Strategy Calls for Increased Investment in Film and TV

Investment in the U.K.’s buoyant film and high-end TV sector is a priority in the British government’s new strategy for the creative industries, which was unveiled Wednesday. The blueprint calls for a £150 million ($211 million) boost in investment by government and industry in creative businesses, and a 50% increase in creative industries’ exports.

The department of culture, media, sport, and digital noted that investment in film and high-end TV had doubled over the past five years, pushing production spending past £2 billion ($2.8 billion). “With the right conditions that annual figure could double again by 2025,” the DCMS said.

Specific growth measures include a £20 million cultural development fund to back cultural initiatives, a plan to double Britain’s share of the immersive content market, which includes VR and AR, and £2 million to kick-start an industry skills program. The BFI has previously outlined a skills shortage in the U.K. film business, and the government said there would be a 1,000-student Screen Academy opening in London.

The bullish government plans, and its ambitious targets for the creative sector, come as the U.K. continues its tricky negotiations with the European Union ahead of Brexit.

“Our creative industries will help develop the talent of the future, ensure people are rightly rewarded for their creative content and give our firms the support they need to compete on the global stage,” said culture minister Matt Hancock. “Millions of people around the world enjoy our world-class artistic and cultural output and we want Britain to stay a front-runner in these vibrant sectors.”

Warner Bros. U.K. chief and BFI chair Josh Berger said: “Incredible crews, fantastic facilities and the government’s direct and continuing support for the creative industries – through organizations such as the BFI and now the sector’s formal inclusion in the industrial strategy – are crucial to a thriving production industry in the U.K.”

With his Warner Bros. hat on he added: “We have been investing in the U.K. for many years because for us this country is, alongside Hollywood, the best place in the world to make movies.”

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