U.K. Tax Benefits Provide Record $10.3B Boost to Economy, BFI Report Shows

Robert Viglasky/Netflix
'The Crown'

Production spend on feature film production in the U.K. has doubled since the tax credit program was first introduced in 2007.

The U.K.’s package of tax incentives has helped spark a production boom that has seen much of Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel output, not to mention major TV shows such as The Crown and Black Mirror, flock to British shores over the past few years.

According to a new independent report commissioned by the British Film Institute, the tax relief program — first introduced in 2007 — is also behind billions of dollars' worth of annual benefits to the wider economy, estimated at £7.9 billion ($10.3 billion) in 2016.

The "Screen Business" report, published on Tuesday, revealed that an estimated £632 million ($826 million) in tax relief generated some £3.16 billion ($4.13 billion) in direct production spend across the screen industries receiving tax relief in 2016, including film, high-end TV, video games, TV animation programs and children’s TV programs, up 17 percent from 2015.

Since the film tax relief was first introduced in 2007, expenditure on feature film production in the U.K. has doubled, from £849 million ($1.1 billion) to £1.72 billion ($2.25 billion) in 2016. High-end TV production, meanwhile, has grown from £415 million ($542 million) since the high-end tax relief scheme launched in 2013 to £897 million ($1.17 billion).

But the report aimed to go beyond simple production spend, looking at the “Gross Value Added” economic contributions achieved elsewhere.

In 2016, it showed that £2.04 billion ($2.66 billion) in tax revenue was raised from the employment and economic activity generated by screen production supported by tax reliefs. Meanwhile, production activity across the tax relief sectors generated 48,330 direct and indirect full-time jobs. The overall contribution to the economy from U.K.-made productions was put at £7.9 billion ($10.3 billion).

“Screens of all sizes are now central to our daily lives and today’s report shows the U.K. as a global leader in creating the content for those screens,” said BFI CEO Amanda Nevill. “This new report endorses the huge part the government’s tax incentives play in our success story, creating a fiscal environment that’s boosting the economy, creating jobs and supporting our outstanding talent and infrastructure.”