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UK TV sector sees record investment

Boom has been helped by government tax relief

The UK’s TV and film industries generated a record £7.9 billion in 2016 according to a new report from the British Film Institute.

The report, titled Screen Business, says the boom was helped by £632 million in tax relief which prompted additional spending of more than £3 billion on the creation of films, high-end TV and games. The BFI said HM Revenue and Customs gained £2 billion tax.

The report looked at the effects of tax reliefs granted across the UK’s screen industries, which include film, high-end television programmes, video games and animation programmes, and children’s TV.

The BFI claims the money generated 137,000 jobs in 2016 alone while tourism also benefited with visitors to the UK spending £600 million in film and TV-related tourism.

High-end television production in the UK has also boomed since the introduction of the tax relief in 2013, according to the report with shows such as The Crown, Game of Thrones and The Night Manager becoming worldwide hits.

UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond welcomed the report, saying: “From TV shows like The Crown, to films like Darkest Hour, and animations like Peppa Pig, our creative industries are intrinsic to the rich cultural fabric of the UK.”

He said they had supported tens of thousands of jobs and helped to develop clusters of excellence across the UK, such as those in Cardiff (TV) and Church Fenton in North Yorkshire (film and TV).