UK creative industry tax reliefs have incentivised record levels of production, generating £13.48 billion (GVA) for the economy in 2019, according to a British Film Industry published report.

Titled Screen Business, the triennial report covering 2017-19, shows that industry tax reliefs – across film, high-end television, video games, children’s TV and animation – increased jobs by 20% between 2017 and 2019 to 219,000 FTEs.

The report reveals that an estimated £1.02 billion in tax relief seeded £5.11 billion in direct production spend in 2019, a 61% increase on 2016. 

Of this, £2.08 billion of production spend came from high-end TV production (HETV), a 70% increase on 2017. Film production accounted for £2.02 billion, while video games development stood at £860.4 million. Children’s TV programme production accounted for £86.0 million, and animation programme production £65.3 million.

The report said that one of the spillover benefits of the tax reliefs has been to encourage a £131 million expansion in new studio facilities across the UK during 2017-2019, and that another £785.4 million has been earmarked for further planned studio investment in the UK.

The BFI said the report underlines how the strength of the screen industries pre-pandemic has enabled the production sector to bounce back effectively this year, with £4.7 billion in production spend on film and high-end television alone from January to September 2021.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The UK is home to some of the best creative talent in the world, and our TV and film industry is a jewel in our crown, driving hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions for the economy.”

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive said: “We work with industry and Government to build the UK screen sector, and Screen Business is evidence of the strength of the tax reliefs and how they have supported a staggering level of production and jobs, and built business across the UK’s nations and regions.”

The report has been produced by the international consultancy Olsberg SPI with Nordicity and commissioned by the BFI, supported by industry partners including the British Film Commission (BFC), Pact, Pinewood Group, TIGA, Ukie, the UK Screen Alliance and Animation UK.

The report also examines specific micro-economic benefits generated by film and HETV production for other business sectors, known as the ‘ripple effect’. It revealed that between 40% and 60% of expenditure was spent in the general economy in sectors including local resources, such as travel and transport, construction, hospitality and catering.

For example an independent feature film with a £20 million budget spent: 7.76% on business support/supplies; 7.33% on digital services; 6.28% on construction; 6.09% million on travel and transport; 5.95% million on hospitality and catering; 2.22% on local labour; 2.13% on fashion and beauty; and 5.07% on studios/locations.

An international feature film with a £50 million budget spent: 11.70% on construction; 9.82% on travel and transport; 9.71% on studios/locations; 6.49% on hospitality and catering; 4.20% on business support/supplies; 3.08% on local labour; 2.28% on music and performing arts; 2.22% on fashion and beauty; and 2.07% on digital services