Film and high-end television production in the UK could be worth £7.66 billion by 2025 and requires nearly 21,000 more crew, according to research commissioned by ScreenSkills.

The research estimates that continued growth will require the equivalent of between 15,130 and 20,770 additional full-time crew within three years.

film production on set outside

Film and TV production crew needed

Carried out by the consultancy Nordicity with the accountancy firm Saffery Champness LLP, the research says between £95.1 million and £104.3 million will be needed annually by 2025 to train the film and HETV workforce – both existing and the new recruits.

The indirect and induced impact of training investment in the order of £104.3 million would go a long way to creating a further 23,270 full-time jobs across the UK economy on top of the additional 20,770 crew.

Latest figures show film and high-end television currently generates the equivalent of 122,000 full-time jobs.

Spending approximately £289.3 million on training during the three-year period 2023 to 2025 would enable film and high-end TV production to generate an additional £4.56 billion in GVA (gross value added) including direct, indirect and induced impact. This represents an economic return of more than 15 times the training investment.

The authors described this return on investment as “compelling” – and acknowledge that the personnel needed to meet demand “may be understated”.

They conclude that film and HETV production in the UK is likely to grow at an annual average rate of 7.3% between 2022 and 2025. They project that spending will reach between £7.07 billion and £7.66 billion by 2025 – an additional £1.43 billion to £2.02 billion spending from the 2021 figure of £5.64 billion.

They found just under 2.7 million square feet of additional stage space is due to come online by 2025 in response to physical constraints of the under-supply of stage space suited to film and HETV production.

In a high-growth scenario, annual spending of £104.3 million on training would represent 1.4% of the forecast level of production spend of £7.66 billion in 2025. This would be higher than sectors such as manufacturing and construction but lower than the business services and hotels and restaurants sectors where training investment rates were 3.5% and 2.5% respectively in 2019.

Seetha Kumar, CEO ScreenSkills, said: “The data in this report will help us all plan sensibly to ensure the UK has the skilled and inclusive workforce needed to capitalise on the potential for further growth. The film and television industry is one of the UK’s great success stories and we need to work together to keep it that way. Growing the workforce will help ensure the country fully benefits from the projected growth in production expenditure.”