LONDON — The British Film Institute said the planned remake of the British animation classic The Clangers and Mouse and Mole at Christmas are among the first to be certified to benefit from the animation tax relief system introduced in April.
The two projects will benefit from the system that gives a qualifying project up to 25 percent of U.K. production spend in the U.K.
The BFI was tasked with the job of certifying project’s eligibility for the valuable tax relief and hosted an inaugural BFI Animation day at its BFI Southbank center Thursday for the animation industry players.
BFI CEO Amanda Nevill described the burgeoning U.K. animation sector as “a super ingredient in the superfood that the creative industries are” to the British economy.
Nevill said securing the tax relief for the animation sector was vital to prevent “all you clever people from going overseas to make your films.”
Government minister for the culture, communications and creative industries, Ed Vaizey, was on hand to jokingly “claim credit” for the animation tax credit.
Vaizey noted that the tax credit for animation was the type of incentive he likes “because it has an immediate impact you can see.”
Vaizey said he had been told that Mouse and Mole at Christmas, has been in development for 15 years and was about to be canned.
“The tax credit saved the project, so it came in just in time.”
Other upcoming projects cited as being flag-bearers for the British animation sector and benefiting from the credit’s introduction is the big screen version of British children’s phenomenon Moshi Monster, a project which is being rolled out theatrically by Universal in December of this year.
“I really do think the animation tax credit has made an immediate impact,” Vaizey said.
The government minister introduced a 1960 animated short Thin Ice from the BFI archives to get attendees “in the mood” before a panel led by BFI head of certification Anna Mansi set out how the tax relief is working, the certification procedures themselves and how to use it to maximize budget input.
David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the British Treasury, the government’s finance department, said his department “designed this new tax relief to support the U.K.’s innovative animation sector, allowing it both to continue to contribute to British culture and to compete in the global race.”
Said Guake: “I am delighted that so many projects are already set to benefit from the relief. Cross industry and government events like today are about ensuring that all animators from large to small can access the support they need.”
One of the day’s panelists, Moses Nyachae, director at U.K. media accountancy giants Saffery Champness said the [British] government “have demonstrated huge support by introducing a new incentive for Animation. It is now up to all of us to maximize the benefit of that incentive.”