01/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 21:00

Budget 2012: Tax breaks for TV production

Category: England

Published: 21st Mar 2012 16:08:52

A tax credit scheme for TV production and animation firms is to be introduced, in a bid to keep creative talent in Britain.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the plans in Parliament as part of the new Budget for 2012.

Mr Osborne said it was the government's "determined policy" to keep Wallace and Gromit animators Aardman in Britain.

Last month, Aardman bosses admitted they had been considering moving production abroad where it was cheaper.

In reaction to the news, Aardman said the tax credit would be "transformational for our industry".

"We have seen a dramatic decline on UK television of home produced animation and we now have a shot a reversing that trend," said Miles Bullough, head of broadcast and development.

"The credit will create thousands of UK jobs and our research shows that there will be a long term financial gain the for the UK."

'Top international investors'

Lobby group Animation UK had been urging Mr Osborne to consider introducing tax breaks, as it believed production was at risk of disappearing from the UK completely.

Mr Osborne said he hoped the changes would prevent that from happening, not just for animators but for high-end drama productions.

"Not only will this help stop premium British TV programmes like Birdsong being made abroad, it will also attract top international investors like Disney and HBO to make more of their premium shows in the UK," he told MPs.

"It will support our brilliant video games and animation industries too.

"Because, Mr Deputy Speaker, it is the determined policy of this Government to keep Wallace and Gromit exactly where they are."

Recent shows, such as The Tudors, Camelot and the Julian Fellowes' drama Titanic, were all made abroad to take advantage of tax incentives in other countries.

Animation UK said it was "thrilled" by the announcement, saying it was "the news we have been waiting for".

"Overseas animators have long received support from their governments and hopefully now our industry will be able to compete on a level playing field," chairman Oli Hyatt said.

"It would have been a crime for it to disappear from the UK and that was a very real threat. Today's announcement will hopefully guarantee the long term survival of our industry and ensure it continues to be an industry we are proud of."

Key members of the TV production industry have also welcomed the news.

Kudos Film and TV, which makes shows including The Hour, Law and Order and Spooks called it "fantastic news".

Its chairman, Stephen Garrett, added: "The return on this relatively small investment from the Government will significantly benefit the UK's economy, generating jobs and growth, boosting tourism and giving the UK taxpayer great value for money."

'Affordable location'

Left Bank, whose shows include Wallander and DCI Banks, also welcomed the proposals.

Chief executive Andy Harries said: "The proposed changes in the UK tax laws regarding television would give the British TV industry a much needed shot in the arm.

The chancellor's announcement also served as a joke based on his past references to Labour leader Ed Miliband's likeness to animated character Gromit

"British production talent is responsible for some of the best television in the world and at the moment many productions, which could very easily be shot in the UK, are being made abroad and many talented creatives are moving elsewhere."

HBO's Glenn Whitehead added: "Today's news on a new tax incentive has turned the UK from one of the most expensive options into a competitive and affordable location.

"We would therefore love to bring more production to the UK."

The British Film Commission's chief executive Adrian Wootton said: "This has fantastic implications for the UK's production industries and the UK economy."

He added that the introduction of tax breaks in production would "create jobs" and "more investment in the UK".

A BBC spokesperson said: "We welcome the government's desire to support the production industry in the UK and we are keen to shoot more BBC projects on our shores.

"We look forward to engaging with the detailed proposals and how they might be implemented to best effect for the industry as a whole."

In 2009, exports of children's TV programmes that were made in the UK were worth £150m, according to the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

And the UK is the second biggest exporter of television content in the world, with exports worth more than £1.3 billion per year.

Mr Osborne's tax break proposals will be subject to state aid approval and a consultation process, but could be introduced by April 2013.

The chancellor also said there were plans to improve technology in Britain, which will include delivering "super fast broadband" to 90% of the population across 10 of the country's leading cities.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Budget 2012: Tax breaks for TV production [Online] (Updated 21st Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1417830/Budget-2012-Tax-breaks-for-TV-production [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Thames Water fined £250,000 for Chase Brook pollution

    A water company has been fined £250,000 for polluting a brook in Newbury.
  • Boris Island airport plan 'to be rejected'

    A plan for an island airport in the Thames estuary will be rejected, the BBC understands.
  • Policeman to go on trial over six euro theft

    An Irish police officer is due to go on trial in December charged with stealing 6.25 euros (£4.94)
  • 'Cloud' concerns after celebrity picture leaks

    Experts have raised concerns over the security of "cloud" storage sites following the leak of intimate pictures of celebrities.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Game of Thrones swordsman joins Star Wars film

    Actor Miltos Yerolemou, best known for his role in the first series of fantasy drama Game of Thrones, has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.