Film production spending in the UK rose 48% in 2006 to $1.6bn (£840.1m), according to new figures from the UK Film Council. In 2005, $1.1bn (£568.5) was spent on UK production.

That marks the second highest year on record, still far off 2003's $2.1bn (£1.1bn), when productions included Troy, Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason and Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban. Major productions started in 2006 include The Golden Age, Stardust, Fred Claus, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Atonement, The Bourne Ultimatum and The Golden Compass.

With the tax crisis being resolved in 2006, inward investment (i.e. the tally of financing from overseas on films that shot significantly in the UK ) rose by more than 80% to $1.1m (£569.6m) from $611m (£312m) in 2005.

The total reflects UK-financed films shot locally, UK co-productions shot in the UK or abroad using UK crew, inward co-productions, and inward investment productions (i.e. Hollywood films made with studio funding but filmed in the UK ). The Film Council's statistics only track films with budgets over $979,000 (£500,000).

According to those criteria, the Film Council said the number of features rose to 134 from 124 in 2005. That is comprised of 50 UK features (up 35% from 2005), 27 inward investment films and 57 UK co-productions.

Despite the number of indigenous UK features being made, budgets were lower - the total UK spend on those films was down 11% to $290m (£148m). Among UK co-productions, the UK spend rose 35% to $340m (£122.5m).

'We are back in business with British filmmakers winning international awards, a crop of great British films produced, British talent and facilities in demand from film-makers around the world, and the new tax credit which came into force this year will ensure that the UK stays one of the best places in the world to produce a film,' said UKFC chief executive John Woodward.