U.K. Film, TV Production Spend Hit Record $4.7 Billion in 2019

1917_24_Still - Publicity - H 2019
Fran├žois Duhamel/Universal Pictures

The U.K. saw its status as a high-end TV hub hit new heights, with a 29 percent surge in production spend.

Spend on film and high-end TV production in the U.K. hit new highs in 2019, according to the British Film Institute, reaching 3.6 billion pounds ($4.7 billion), an increase of 16 percent over 2018. 

In figures announced Thursday, the BFI said that the sector continued to make a strong contribution to the U.K. economy, with inward investment and co-production spend on film and high-end TV reaching 3.08 billion pounds ($4.0 billion).

Unsurprisingly, thanks to shows such as The Crown, Sex Education, His Dark Materials and Avenue 5, it was high-end TV that saw the lion's share of the growth, hitting 1.66 billion pounds ($2.1 billion), up 29 percent on last year and the highest level since the introduction of the tax relief in 2013. 

Film, meanwhile, thanks to the likes of 1917, No Time to Die, Christopher Nolan's Tenet and many other productions, reached 1.96 billion pounds ($2.5 billion), a 7 percent increase on 2018 and the second-highest level on record. 

Underlining the impact of U.K.-made films, three of 2019's top-grossing features in the local box office were shot in the country, including Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

"Today’s figures show an incredibly vibrant picture, a sector that continues to grow, delivering billions to the economy and a wide spectrum of jobs all over the U.K.," said the BFI's outgoing CEO Amanda Nevill. "It’s great to see some of our greatest home-grown talent making big international pictures such as 1917. It also underlines the importance of ensuring that the independent sector, the lifeblood for this growing success, is properly supported."

Added Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission: "Film and high-end TV are big business, indeed we are the fastest growing sector in the economy, and today’s record breaking figures show the U.K. continuing to meet the growing demand for content, studio space and world-class skills, talent and technical expertise.

"It’s vital we continue to nurture and champion the exceptional talent across our screen industries; the BFC working together with our public and private partners across the UK to seize the growth opportunities for nations and regions, putting inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of everything we do."