British Film Commission Trumpets Film Tax Approval

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George Osborne

The changes are designed to make the U.K. a more attractive destination for Hollywood productions.

LONDON – The British Film Commission has touted that enhancements to the U.K.’s film tax relief have received State Aid approval on Wednesday.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced the rubber stamp for the plans on Wednesday during his budget. The changes, which were included in the Chancellor’s budget speech, will take effect from April 1. 

Iain Smith, British Film Commission chairman and film and television producer, said: "The British Film Industry continues to demonstrate its value both in terms of job creation, international investment and creative and technical expertise, as demonstrated by British successes as this year’s Academy Awards and BAFTAs. We are delighted by this further recognition of the value of the creative industries to the British government."

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Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, added: "The BFC coordinated an industry response to the government consultation on the enhancements to the tax relief, so we are thrilled that they will be implemented from April 1. Importantly it will allow the U.K.’s world-class VFX and postproduction sectors to remain competitive, and the BFC will be hosting a group of senior U.S. executives next month to capitalize on the new opportunities. It’s also important to note the hugely positive impact of the tax relief changes on the U.K.’s international co-production prospects, opening up opportunities with a wide range of international territories."

The previously reported changes include making the film tax relief available at 25 percent on the first $35 million (£20 million) of qualifying production expenditure and 20 percent thereafter, for small- and large-budget films.

And crucially for Hollywood, the minimum U.K. expenditure requirement will be reduced from 25 percent to 10 percent to encourage further investment in the U.K. and benefit visual effects and wider industry, helping U.K. independent production companies by encouraging minority co-productions where the U.K. spend is less than 25 percent.