UK Film Provides Robust Revenue Stream
Figures published by the UK Film Council reveal that British film is a thriving industry. Film provided the British economy with £4.3 billion during 2006, representing a 39% increase from two years ago, the last year for which figures were collated.
Film Council CEO John Woodward warned that these figures could dwindle unless the government continued its support in terms of tax credits.
The research found that, after taking into account the new film tax relief plan introduced, the cost of producing a film in the UK is set to fall and by 2010 will be about 27% less than the cost of producing it in the US and only 7% higher than the Czech Republic.
"If there were no tax incentives from 2008 onward, we estimate this loss of competitiveness would reduce the UK's share of global film production from 11% to just 2%," Woodward said.
The research was carried out by independent agency Oxford Economics and supported by Pinewood Shepperton. The report took into account the broad contribution from the film industry across employment, production, distribution and the supply chain as well as tourism.
Total exports of the film industry in 2006 stood at £967 million, with a net contribution of £163 million to the U.K. balance of payments. Capital investment in the film industry was estimated at £120 million for that year. The report said 33,500 people were directly employed in the film industry in 2006.
Interestingly, it would seem that the upswing could be attributed to smaller films such as Andrea Arnold's Red Road and Ken Loach's Irish-set The Wind that Shakes the Barley as Cannes prize winners. Other films singled out as contributors were medium-size Oscar films like The Queen and The Constant Gardener and boxofice blockbusters like the Harry Potter" and James Bond films.