• Record-breaking figures show UK screen industries top $3.04bn
  • BFI CEO: “A sector that continues to grow, delivering billions to the economy”
  • Investment in feature film production increased by 17% from 2018

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UK production: Record-breaking figures show UK screen industries top $3.04bn

Source: BBC

The UK’s screen industries saw a record-breaking year for international high-end TV production, increasing 51% from last year. 

Spend on film and high-end television in the UK from major international productions topped £3.04 billion in 2019, according to figures released by BFI’s research and statistics unit.

Titles including 1917, The Eternals and Brave New World received direct production support from the British Film Commission (BFC), the UK agency responsible for attracting and supporting major international films and TV productions.

Of all US film and high-end TV inward investment spend in 2019 the BFC supported 88% of projects and companies with spend on TV production reaching £1.3 billion, the highest figure since records began and a 51% increase on the previous year.

Feature film production inward investment increased 17% from 2018 and generated £1.742 billion with UK-made titles contributing to the success.

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill CBE said: “Today’s figures show an incredibly vibrant picture, a sector that continues to grow, delivering billions to the economy and a wide spectrum of jobs all over the UK.

“It’s great to see some of our greatest home-grown talent making big international pictures such as 1917. It also underlines the importance of ensuring that the independent sector, the lifeblood for this growing success, is properly supported.”

Action feature Morbius was shot at Pinewood studios and on location in Manchester, Brave New World was based at Dragon Studios in Wales, Season 2 of The Spanish Princess was made at Bristol’s Bottleyard Studios and All Creatures Great and Small was shot on location in Yorkshire.

The BFI highlighted the accessibility of the UK’s world-class studios, diverse and unique locations and its visual effects (VFX) and post facilities as contributing to investment in the sector.

British Film Commission and Film London chief executive Adrian Wootton OBE said: “Film and high-end TV are big business, indeed we are the fastest growing sector in the economy, and today’s record-breaking figures show the UK continues to meet the growing demand for content, studio space and world-class skills, talent and technical expertise.

“Last year saw industry heavyweights such as Netflix, Disney and Comcast strengthening their commitment to the UK, providing a further endorsement of the UK’s world-class infrastructure, talent and generous, reliable tax reliefs.”

2020 has already had a very strong start with several major features in pre-production in the UK including Jurassic World 3 based at Pinewood Studios and The Northman based at Belfast Harbour Studios and TV dramas including Outlander Season 6 based at Scotland’s Wardpark Studios, The Witcher Season 2 and the second season of Pennyworth based at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.

Wootton added: “As today’s figures demonstrate, the UK film and TV industry is very much open for business and we’re excited to continue working with our US and EU partners to create award-winning content.

“It’s vital we continue to nurture and champion the exceptional talent across our screen industries, the BFC working together with our public and private partners across the UK to seize the growth opportunities for nations and regions, putting inclusivity and sustainability at the heart of everything we do.”