Osborne upbeat on TV and film tax relief figures

George Osborne has welcomed new figures showing that investment in UK-based film production in 2013 was over £1billion – an increase of 14% on the previous year.

Separate data showing that £202m in film tax relief was claimed in 2012 to 2013 was also embraced by the chancellor, as he took a tour of Ealing Studios, home to Downton Abbey.

Among the latest beneficiaries of the relief, introduced in 2007, are the culturally British films Maleficent, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Monuments Men.

Widely recognised as a game-changer for the film industry, the relief was heralded at December’s Autumn Statement as an initiative that the government wants to expand.

Already, however, it has inspired tax breaks for other sectors, notably high-end TV and animation, which the latest figures show are more than making use of it.

In particular, more than £233m in investment was poured into high-end TV between April and December, while £42m was injected into animation programmes over the same period.

“Today’s figures highlight the valuable cultural and economic contribution that our creative industries make to the UK,” Mr Osborne said.

“I want to build on this success and showcase the world class talent this country has, encouraging more films and TV programmes to be made here.”

Inspired by the success of film tax relief, the government said in December that it would consult on offering a similar scheme to commercial theatres, especially those in the regions.

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4th February 2014

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