Inward investment and Film Tax Relief key to growth, employment in film sector surges, claims new report from UK consultancy.

UK film contributes more than £4.6bn to UK GDP and more than £1.3bn to the exchequer, according to a report carried out by consultancy Oxford Economics.

The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry in 2011, commissioned by the BFI and Pinewood Shepperton, claims that despite the on-going recession the UK film industry is “thriving”. 

The 100-page report, updated every two years, examines the ways in which the film industry contributes to the UK economy.

The report highlights the ongoing importance of inward investment and the film tax relief to generating significant revenues.

Production spend on inward investment accounted for 80% of total UK production spend in 2011 with record levels of inward investment contributing £3.7bn to UK GDP and £1 billion to exchequer revenues.

Without Film Tax Relief, UK production would be around 71% smaller, claims the report. With the Relief costing HM Treasury around £114m a year, it generates £12 in GDP for every £1 invested. Without it national GDP would be reduced by approximately £1.4bn a year and exchequer revenues by £430m a year.

The report highlights the importance of continued studio growth and investment and points to a surge in direct employment in the film sector, with an increase from 36,000 in 2009 to 44,000 in 2011. Film exports also continue to grow, generating £2.1 billion in 2010;

The report also claims that films depicting the UK are responsible for generating “around a tenth of overseas tourism revenues,” and that UK films “have boosted box office by on average £69 million a year since 2000”.

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey said of the findings: “This report clearly highlights the huge contribution that the UK film industry makes to long-term economic growth. The UK’s successes at the BAFTA and Academy Awards celebrate the wonderful creative talents and accomplishments of UK film, but this report reminds us of the crucial role the industry plays in job creation, tourism, inward investment and the promotion of all that is great about Britain.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO, BFI said: “Film GB has really gone for gold, achieving creative excellence and significant positive economic impact. This comprehensive report shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that film is an industry driving growth in the UK’s economy. It’s a story of great British talent and sustained investment really paying off.”