Record-breaking year for international High End TV Production in the UK

Thursday January 30 2020

· £1.294 billion inward investment spend from high-end TV, including Avenue 5, Bridgerton and Brave New World

· £1.742 billion UK spend from inward investment feature films, including 1917, Morbius and Black Widow

Record-breaking figures released today highlight the ongoing strength and creativity of the UK’s screen industries, with inward investment spend from major international productions topping £3.04 billion.

Many of the titles, including 1917, The Eternals and Brave New World received direct production support from the British Film Commission (BFC), the UK agency responsible for attracting and supporting major international films and TV productions. In fact, BFC has provided support to projects/companies accounting for 88% of all US film and high-end TV inward investment spend in 2019.

The figures, released by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, show inward investment spend on high-end TV production reached £1.294 billion – the highest figure since records began and a 51% increase on last year’s figures.

2019 was also a very strong year for feature film production, which generated £1.742 billion in inward investment spend – a 17% increase on 2018.

UK-made titles contributing to this stand-out year span the regions and nations, including Morbius shot at Pinewood studios and on location in Manchester, Brave New World based at Dragon Studios in Wales, Season 2 of The Spanish Princess at Bristol’s Bottleyard Studios and All Creatures Great and Small in Yorkshire to name but a few. As well as productions making the most of the UK’s world-class studios and diverse and unique locations, our VFX and post sector has also had a busy year.

2020 has already had a very strong start with several major features in pre-production in the UK including Jurassic World 3 based at Pinewood Studios and The Northman based at Belfast Harbour Studios and TV dramas including Outlander Season 6 again based at Scotland’s Wardpark Studios, The Witcher Season 2 and the second season of Pennyworth based at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: “Film and high-end TV are big business, indeed we are the fastest growing sector in the economy, and today’s record breaking figures show the UK continuing to meet the growing demand for content, studio space and world-class skills, talent and technical expertise. Last year saw industry heavyweights such as Netflix, Disney and Comcast strengthening their commitment to the UK, providing further endorsement of the UK’s world-class infrastructure, talent and generous, reliable tax reliefs.

As today’s figures demonstrate, the UK film and TV industry is very much open for business and we’re excited to continue working with our US and EU partners to create award-winning content.

It’s vital we continue to nurture and champion the exceptional talent across our screen industries, the BFC working together with our public and private partners across the UK to seize the growth opportunities for nations and regions, putting inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of everything we do.”

Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO of the BFI, said: “Today’s figures show an incredibly vibrant picture, a sector that continues to grow, delivering billions to the economy and a wide spectrum of jobs all over the UK. It’s great to see some of our greatest home-grown talent making big international pictures such as 1917. It also underlines the importance of ensuring that the independent sector, the lifeblood for this growing success, is properly supported.”

Throughout 2019 the British Film Commission (BFC) provided support to projects/companies in a variety of ways including troubleshooting, familiarisation trips and UK Film and TV Week – showcasing the UK-wide offer to the TV and film industry in Los Angeles in partnership with Creative England, Welsh Government, Film London, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Scotland.

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