This year's overall volume of UK production could smash the previous record of over $1.1 billion.

This year's tally looks certain to hit 2000's record level if all the productions in the offing end up shooting. Even if it comes up short, 2003 is set for a remarkable recovery for a sector that in 2001 crashed to $660million and last year limped to $696million.

The biggest budget studio productions include Warner Bros' Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Working Title's $65m Thunderbirds, which shot at Pinewood and in the Seychelles, and elements of Troy and Oliver Stone's Alexander, which both set up base camps in the UK.

Also in the frame is Warner's next Batman film, expected to be directed by Christopher Nolan. The production may at least partly shoot at Shepperton, where it has offices under the enigmatic title of Intimidation Game.

The UK is also wooing Warner to come to the UK with Tim Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which may star Johnny Depp. Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures' Alfie remake with Jude Law is apparently heading to Pinewood, and Sahara, with Matthew McConaughey, is said to be shooting interiors at Shepperton.

Working Title also has Wimbledon and Bridget Jones's Diary: The Edge Of Reason, while no less than four big-budget animation titles are also in the works.

Aardman Animations and DreamWorks SKG are readying The Great Vegetable Plot and Tortoise Vs Hare, both at around $40m each. At Ealing Studios, the $40m Valiant marks the first in an anticipated series of films between Shrek producer John Williams, Walt Disney Co and the UK studio. Walt Disney is also expected to start production on Rocket Pictures' Gnomeo And Juliet.

Meanwhile, MDP Worldwide is preparing to shoot Blake Edwards 10 Again in London and the Bahamas.

Post production looks particularly strong, with a flurry of projects such as Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm using the UK just for post. The influx seems driven by the UK tax breaks, although of course often only 20% of the total budget spend will be in the UK.

Indigenous production is also strong, particularly large-scale productions. At $70m, The Phantom Of The Opera, backed by Warner Bros but set up by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group and Odyssey Entertainment, is one of the biggest independently-financed UK productions ever, if not the biggest.

Other ambitious productions include Pathe UK's Bride And Prejudice: The Bollywood Musical, Artisan Entertainment and Michael Kuhn's Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Creature Shop and Capitol Films' Five Children And It, Focus Features and Granada Film's Vanity Fair, Stephen Fry's Bright Young Things and Impact Pictures' Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

In fact, the UK is now facing the not entirely unpleasant problem of whether there are enough crews and facilities to go round.

"There is a capacity in this town and we are reaching capacity at times," says Michael Elson, head of production at post production company The Moving Picture Company, which has almost doubled its film staff this year. "But in six months it could quieten down and we could be scrabbling around. Not that I think that is going to happen."

For a full length version of this article, see this week's Screen International magazine.