U.K. Film Production Incentives Rise to 25 Percent Across Board

Star Wars Force Awakens Stormtroopers - H 2015
Courtesy of Star Wars

Star Wars Force Awakens Stormtroopers - H 2015

The previously announced rebate hike has now been approved by the European Union.

The U.K.'s burgeoning film tax relief system has received a nod of approval from the European Union. The latest incentive rise allows all British films to received a rebate of 25 percent of qualifying expenditure. Previously, only the first $31.4 million (£20 million) on larger budget films qualified for the higher rate, with the remaining expenditure earning 20 percent.

The move, which was first unveiled in March but with EU approval can now be passed into law, will apply to all features in production on or after Apr. 1, and brings U.K. film incentives in line with its high-end TV tax relief.

“The film tax relief is a key ingredient in the UK’s winning combination of outstanding filmmaking talent and crews, world-leading studios and facilities, and iconic locations,” said Amanda Nevill, CEO of the British Film Institute. “It keeps us competitive on the world stage, and helps grow our economy and create jobs at home. We warmly welcome this extension to the tax relief and the government’s continued commitment to the U.K.’s thriving film industry.”

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London said the announcement was “great news” for the film industry.

“Much has been written about the benefits of global filming incentives, and the U.K. Film Tax Relief is exceptional in combining a generous financial incentive with transparency, inclusivity and reliability." he added.

Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of the Pinewood group, which has provided the British facilities for many recent big-budget productions, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron, echoed the enthusiasm for the enhanced tax credit system.

“We look forward to working with U.K. and global film producers and keeping the U.K. at the heart of international film and television production,” he said.

The British film tax relief is estimated to have supported almost $12.5 billion (£8 billion) of production expenditure since its introduction in 2007, including films such as the Oscar-winning Gravity, Maleficent and the The Theory of Everything. Last year it was reported that Disney alone had earned $272 million from the U.K. government in production incentives during that time.