News story

Budget boost for creative industries

Tax relief proposals for animation, video games and high-end TV production industries.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Chancellor has announced plans for tax relief for 3 of the UK’s key creative industries from April 2013.

In the Budget today, George Osborne announced his intention to introduce tax relief for the animation, video games and high-end TV production sectors subject to state aid approval and following consultation.

Tax breaks for animation and TV would aim to reverse a trend of UK productions being made overseas and attract foreign companies to make their progammes in the UK. Tax relief for video games could help to increase the sector’s contribution to the UK economy by £280 million over the next 5 years.

The Chancellor also announced details of government plans to invest in ten new super-connected cities.

Facts and figures


  • Currently around 600 companies in the UK employing over 4,700 people
  • In 2009, the UK animation industry produced 191 hours of animation worth £102 million
  • Exports of children’s TV programmes (including animation) were worth £150 million in 2009
  • Great British animation currently made abroad instead of in the UK includes Thomas the Tank Engine (Canada), Bob the Builder (USA) and Noddy (Republic of Ireland)

Video games

  • UK-produced games generated £1.7 billion in sales worldwide in 2009
  • As of November 2011, there were 9,000 creative staff working in almost 300 games studios
  • UK consumers buy the largest number of games in Europe. Almost 60% of the UK population play video games, with an average age of 28. 48% of video gamers are women.
  • Over five years a games tax relief could create and protect 1,650 studio jobs and increase the games development sector’s contribution to UK GDP by £280 million
  • Great British video games made in the UK include Moshi Monsters, Little Big Planet and Lego Star Wars

TV production

  • The UK is the second biggest exporter of television content in the world, with exports worth more than £1.3 billion per year
  • UK television broadcasters generated revenue of £11.1 billion in 2009
  • The independent television sector contributes £4.3 billion per year to the UK economy (GVA) and employs 20,950 people - more than the television divisions of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five combined
  • Great British TV currently made abroad instead of the in the UK includes Julian Fellowes’ Titanic (Hungary), The Tudors (Republic of Ireland) and Birdsong (Hungary)

Further information

Published 21 March 2012