Britfilm Hits Boom Time Again
The British film industry has reached a new high, with figures released today showing a big leap in the amount being spent on making movies here.
Statistics from the UK Film Council show that £840m was spent last year, 48% up on a 2005 spend of £569m. Studios are also coming to Britain in greater numbers - inward investment increased by 83% to £570m. This follows a change in the tax regime designed to help low-budget British productions and lure big-budget Hollywood investment to Britain. The UK was involved in 134 feature films and a 27 of them are classed as inward investment, with the other 57 classed as British co-productions.
2007 could be the UK's most lucrative film year ever because the Treasury will offer up to 20% tax relief for small budget films, whilst big budget films costing over £20m will receive up to 16%. Prior to the Chancellors 2005 decision to do this, uncertainty surrounding future tax burden for films made in the UK saw a number of Hollywood productions take their films elsewhere.
The UK Film Council believes film-makers were encouraged by the chancellor's decision. They say now the tax breaks have kicked in, the current surge in investment in films made in the UK could be a taste of things to come.
John Woodward, chief executive of the UK Film Council said: "We are back in business with British film-makers winning international awards, a crop of great British films produced, British talent and facilities in demand around the world. The new tax credit will ensure that the UK stays one of the best places in the world to produce a film."