Tony Jordan’s BBC1 drama By Any Means has become the first production to pass the cultural test to qualify for high-end TV tax breaks in the UK.

By Any Means is being produced by Jordan’s Red Planet Pictures for BBC1. The primetime 6 x 60-minute drama will follow an undercover police department willing to go to any length to bring the criminal elite to justice.

It is being executive produced by Jordan and Belinda Campbell for the indie and Polly Hill for BBC1.

Red Planet Pictures production executive Alex Jones said: “After the nail biting wait for state aid approval we’re all delighted the UK tax credits plugged the final financing gap on By Any Means and that principle photography could start as planned on this month. The UK high end tax credits are a welcome relief to the production sector as we struggle to close the finance on ambitious drama projects.”  

To qualify for high-end TV tax breaks producer must demonstrate that they hit the financial threshold and pass a cultural test, which the BFI is responsible for overseeing.

Saffery Champness has been advising Red Planet on applying for the tax relief and received a letter of comfort from the BFI last week, indicating it had passed the cultural test. The credits came into effect on 1 April.

Sinéad McHugh, Saffery Champness film, TV and media manager, said: “It’s wonderful to receive the first letter of comfort from the BFI for the new high end TV tax relief. After so much discussion, it’s great that the system is in place and works so well.”

The BFI will not be able to issue official certificates verifying a production has passed the cultural test until August, so in the interim it is issuing letters of comfort.