High-end TV production in the UK soars as film production tops £1bn for second year

Thursday January 28 2016

The British Film Commission welcomes figures published today by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, which reveal that inward investment film production spend for the UK has topped £1bn for the second consecutive year – the first time it has done so since records began. The figures also show a huge 20% leap for high-end television inward investment and co-productions.

UK film production thrives in 2015

Overall spend on feature films in 2015 reached £1.41bn, the second highest figure since records began in 1994. With an inward investment spend of £1.17bn, more than 83% was generated from 47 inward investment titles, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Doctor Strange, Assassin’s Creed, Wonder Woman and Paul Greengrass’s fifth Bourne sequel.

In addition to productions making the UK their go-to destination for talent, studios, locations and craftsmanship, the UK’s award-winning VFX sector represents another significant draw for major international productions. The BFC was on hand to support these and other international productions and many more from the earliest stages of development through to completion, offering guidance on tax reliefs, crew and studio availability, location scouting support and troubleshooting, and sourcing alternative stage space.

Tax reliefs mean huge success for high-end television

The year was particularly significant for high-end television production in the UK, with a total spend of £759m, of which nearly 50% is attributed to inward investment and co-production. The burgeoning success of High-End Television Tax Relief is evident in the figures, which, combined with the UK’s tremendous skills base, infrastructure and versatility, means high-profile series like Game of Thrones, Outlander, Galavant and The Royals keep returning for multiple seasons, while new, hotly-anticipated titles like Lucky Man, The Crown and The Dresser are choosing to set up production in the UK.

International television production is diversely spread throughout the UK’s nations and regions, reflecting a vote of confidence in, and recognition of, the talent and expertise on offer throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, commented: “2015 was another standout year for the UK film and television industries, with our technical expertise, creative skills, talent and world class infrastructure representing an ongoing draw for some of the world’s biggest names and most successful franchises. The figures also show that the tax relief for high-end television is really bedding in and reaping incredible dividends for our economy and also for our industry itself in terms of boosting infrastructure and opening up new business opportunities.”

The future is bright

Major inward investment features confirmed to shoot in the UK in 2016 include Universal’s The Mummy, Warner Bros.’ Justice League Part One and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Episode VIII, while Amazon’s first UK-based television drama, The Collection, started shooting in Wales this month.

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