Barbie c Warner Bros

Source: Warner Bros


Film and high-end television production in the UK could be worth £7.7bn a year by 2025 (up from £5.64bn in 2021) and require nearly 21,000 more crew, according to research commissioned by industry training body ScreenSkills.

The research, carried out by consultancy Nordicity with the accountancy firm Saffery Champness LLP, says between £95.1m and £104.3m will be needed annually by 2025 to train the film and HETV workforce – both existing and the new recruits.

The research concludes there is still room for growth in the UK industry on top of the expansion fuelled by the introduction of the HETV Tax Relief in 2013 and a strong bounce back after the Covid lockdown.

The authors forecast film and HETV production in the UK is likely to grow at an annual average rate of 7.3% between 2022 and 2025.

ScreenSkills said the indirect and induced impact of training investment of £104.3m would help to create a further 23,270 full-time jobs across the UK economy on top of the additional 20,770 crew.

Latest figures show film and high-end television generates the equivalent of 122,000 full-time jobs.

“Spending approximately £289.3m on training during the three-year period 2023 to 2025 would enable film and high-end TV production to generate an additional £4.56bn in GVA (gross value added) including direct, indirect and induced impact,” said ScreenSkills in a statement. “This represents an economic return of more than 15 times the training investment.”

The report’s authors described this return on investment as “compelling” – and acknowledged that the personnel needed to meet demand “may be understated”.

Annual spending of £104.3m on training would represent 1.4% of the forecast level of production spend of £7.66bn in 2025. This would be higher than sectors such as manufacturing and construction but lower than the business services and hotels and restaurants sectors where training investment rates were 3.5% and 2.5% respectively in 2019.

The report concluded that just under 2.7 million square feet of additional stage space is due to come online by 2025. However, it said that without an increase in the supply of skilled crews, this additional soundstage capacity could be severely underutilised.

Seetha Kumar, CEO ScreenSkills, said: “The data in this report will help us all plan sensibly to ensure the UK has the skilled and inclusive workforce needed to capitalise on the potential for further growth.”

Major projects currently in production the UK include Universal’s Fast X, Warner Bros’ Barbie and Paramount’s Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part Two.