The UK film industry contributes over $6.5billion a year to the UK GDP, according to a report, which aims to highlight the positive economic impact of the UK film industry.

The UK film industry contributes a total of over $6.5billion (£4.5 billion) a year to the UK GDP and directly employs around 36,000 people, according to a report published today by Oxford Economics.

Published at a potentially sensitive time for the film industry, following the recent change of UK government and the threat of budget cuts, the report seeks to point out the positive economic impact of the UK film industry, as well as highlighting the importance of the UK’s film tax credit. It was commissioned by the UK Film Council, Pinewood Shepperton plc and Framestore.

The report suggests that the GDP would be reduced by around $2billion (£1.4 billion) a year, if the tax credit were to be abolished, pointing out that, at a current cost of $159m (£110m), the tax credit generates an extra £13 in GDP for every £1 that is invested.

It also concludes that the UK film industry contributes more than $1.7billion (£1.2billion) to the Exchequer, whilst the total amount contributed by the film industry to the UK GDP is up from $6.2billion (£4.3billion) in 2007 to $6.5billion (£4.5billion).

Other findings in the report, which covers economic activity which arises from companies or individuals employed in film production in the UK, include:

-The UK film industry is comparable with the publishing industry, directly employing 36,000, whilst supporting a total of 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.

-Inward investment is estimated to account for around $5.2billion (£3.6 billion) of film’s contribution to the GDP and $1.4billion (£960 million) in Exchequer revenues, whilst UK film exports totalled around $1.9bn (£1.3bn) in 2008.

-A British film shown in the UK can expect its box office takings to be 30% higher than an equivalent foreign film, suggesting that British films have boosted UK box office revenues by an average of around $87m (£60m) a year over the last 10 years.

Introducing the report at a presentation held today in London, UKFC chairman Tim Bevan said that it was a “good news” report, whilst acknowledging that the film industry was facing “turbulent times.”

John Woodward, CEO of the UKFC, desribed the report as “timely”, adding that “there seems to be a very high degree of confidence and support on a cross party basis, the coalition government and the three parties have been very supportive of the film industry and have supported tax credit so I wouldn’t like to suggest that we were getting paranoid about it in any form, but these are difficult times.”

The report has already been put in front of the Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries minister, Ed Vaizey, who said: “The creative industries are a British success story. They continue to grow, and the government sees the real potential they have to help our economy in the coming years. This report is evidence of how important British film is – to our economy as well as promoting our cultural life, our identity and diversity on the international stage.”

Roy Button, senior vice-president and managing director of Warner Bros, who was sitting in the audience, added: “It’s a great document to substantiate what we have got and why we need to keep it, and we are bringing it up in a very timely manner, and while at this current time I wouldn’t suggest we go in asking for more, but we can’t lose sight of the future and how we have got to give ourselves some edge.”