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Chancellor: We're backing British film industry

Higher rate of film tax relief has been given the go ahead.

Chancellor holding a video camera in a filming studio

Britain is set to attract the production of more films like The Theory of Everything, Gravity and Avengers: Age of Ultron after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne announced a new higher rate of film tax relief has been given the go ahead.

Under the new plans the £1.4 billion film industry will receive a tax credit of 25% on all qualifying expenditure bringing it in-line with TV tax relief. This means a British film costing £40 million will receive an additional £1 million towards productions costs from the change.

The Chancellor announced the scheme, which will be backdated to apply from April 2015, whilst visiting the set of Agatha Raisin, a new British TV series being filmed in Wiltshire that is benefiting from the government’s high-end TV tax relief. Under the scheme the government provides a tax credit of 25% on qualifying British TV productions.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

British made films are watched and celebrated all over the world - last year alone we saw eight British made films nominated for an Oscar.

A key part of our long term economic plan is supporting our creative industries that contribute billions to the economy and provide millions of jobs.

We want to see more films, like Gravity and Avengers: Age of Ultron, made in Britain and that’s why we’ve made our film tax relief even more generous.

British Film Institute (BFI) CEO, Amanda Nevill said:

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.

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 UK’s thriving film industry.

Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Group plc said:

The Chancellor’s announcement of further enhancing Film Tax Credit is a clear demonstration of how this government has supported UK Film and helped fuel growth in the creative industries to the benefit of the taxpayer.

We look forward to working with UK and global film producers and keeping the UK at the heart of international film and television production.

The government’s film tax relief has supported almost £8 billion of production expenditure since its introduction, including films such as Oscar winning Gravity, Maleficent and Harry Potter. It supported 222 films in 2014 alone. In the March 2015 Budget, the government announced that it would further support the film industry by increasing the rate of film tax relief to 25% for all qualifying productions. Previously, the rate was 25% for the first £20 million of qualifying expenditure and 20% for spending above this threshold. The scheme has just been given State Aid approval by the EU which means it can now go ahead as planned.

Information about film tax relief

  • according to official BFI statistics, 222 films started principal photography in 2014, spending £1.4 billion in the UK – an increase from £1.1 billion in 2013 and the highest figure on record
  • examples of films that have qualified under the cultural test for film tax relief include: Skyfall, World War Z, Paddington, The Theory of Everything, Mr Turner, The Imitation Game, Gravity, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Oscar®-nominated films that qualified as British include The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Into the woods, Mr Turner, Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • UK’s thriving creative sector industries employs 1.7 million people and added £76.9 billion to the economy last year
Published 21 August 2015
Last updated 21 August 2015 + show all updates
  1. minor change to notes to editors
  2. First published.