The film tax relief scheme looks set to be secure for another four years, following the UK government’s announcement today.
The UK government has extended the UK film tax relief until December 2015, with the terms remaining the same as they are now.
UK prime minister, David Cameron said the extension would “guarantee millions of pounds of support for the British film industry. The last year has seen massive success, both at home and abroad, for a whole host of UK films. I look forward to seeing the UK film industry continue to thrive over the coming years, supported by the Government’s film tax relief.”
Film Minister, Ed Vaizey added that the “huge success of British films at the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs this year is clear recognition of our world class talent and creativity. But as a vital creative industry, it also has huge potential for economic growth. Film tax relief is at the heart of our drive to support the production of culturally British Films within a sustainable and vibrant industry. I’m delighted that we can give certainty to the industry for the next four years.”
In 2009/10 the tax relief scheme provided around £95 million of support to the British film industry, supporting over £1 billion of investment in 208 films. Recent productions certified as “British” under the scheme’s cultural test include films such as Brighton Rock, Attack the Block, StreetDance3D, Gnomeo & Juliet, Clash of the Titans, Horrid Henry 3D, Coriolanus and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2).
The British film industry has welcomed the news that the tax relief scheme is to be extended.
Iain Smith, Chair of the British Film Commission described the announcement as “fantastic news for the British film industry.”
“Not only does it demonstrate the Government understands the vital role that the art and business of film-making plays in our economic and cultural landscape, but it also ensures the UK can maintain its global competitiveness. It puts a level of stability in place which allows us as the BFC, with our international partners, to continue to drive the industry forward and grow and develop the film industry in this country,” he added.
Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission said: “The renewal of the film tax relief is a crucial element of the UK’s offer to the international industry. This support from the Government gives us continuity and a fantastic foundation, which in turn allows us to aggressively market our world-class talent, facilities and locations across the globe.”
Meanwhile film financing expert John Graydon of RSM Tenon said it “demonstrates the Government’s commitment to encouraging film production in the UK and provides filmmakers with certainty going forward”.
Pinewood’s chairman Lord Grade added that “the decision will deliver certainty for the UK’s talented film makers and will provide the platform for growth, investment and jobs in a growing segment of the economy.”
Richard Philipps, partner in the Technology and Media group at global law firm Reed Smith added that the “only shame is that the tax relief extension wasn’t confirmed beyond 2015.”
“The tax credit has now become an indispensable part of the financing of all UK independent films. Add this to the additional money which the BFI is likely to distribute after the Olympics and the eagerly awaited results of the film policy review in January, and things are looking quite encouraging for the UK’s film industry,” he said.
Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros welcomed the news from the studio’s perspective, especially in the light of its decision to create a permanent UK base at Leavesden Studios which will open summer 2012.
“For almost 90 years, Warner Bros. has been investing in UK film production and the UK film industry’s outstanding creative talent. In the last year alone, we’ve produced six major feature films here, released the final film in the UK-produced Harry Potter movie series and committed £100million to create our permanent production home, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. We welcome the Government’s expression of support for the UK film industry through its renewal of the film tax credit.”
Greg Dyke, chair of the BFI, said the news was encouraging “particularly amongst independent filmmakers, at a time when access to finance is increasingly difficult.”
“British film is riding high, reaching new audiences, creating jobs and making a significant contribution to the economy – it is precisely this kind of support that is so vital to keep that momentum going. And it is a further endorsement of the great collaborative partnership between the BFI and DCMS,” added Dyke.