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UK tax credit for TV drama

March 21, 2012

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a  tax credit scheme for TV production and animation firms is to be introduced, in a bid to keep creative talent in Britain.

Osborne said it was the government’s “determined policy” to keep Wallace and Gromit animators Aardman in Britain. Last month, Aardman bosses admitted they had been considering moving production abroad where it was cheaper.

“Not only will this help stop premium British TV programmes like Birdsong being made abroad, it will also attract top international investors like Disney and HBO to make more of their premium shows in the UK,” the Chancellor told MPs.

Recent shows, such as The Tudors, Camelot and the Julian Fellowes’ drama Titanic, were all made abroad to take advantage of tax incentives in other countries.

Kudos Film and TV chairman Stephen Garrett, which makes shows including The Hour, Law and Order and Spooks called it “fantastic news. The return on this relatively small investment from the Government will significantly benefit the UK’s economy, generating jobs and growth, boosting tourism and giving the UK taxpayer great value for money.”
Andrew Ledger, relationship director at Barclays TMT said: “The TV industry has been crying out for tax credits for drama production for years so we welcome today’s news that drama production will receive tax credits. We will have to wait and see what budget level the Government set the bar in terms of eligibility for the credits, but hopefully this will be the first step in putting Britain back on the map as a cost-effective destination for drama production. That should tempting more overseas production companies to shoot dramas here in the UK, just as we’ve seen happen in film. That potential influx of foreign investment could also filter through to local, British communities, who will reap the benefits of an increased industry presence across a wide array of new filming and production locations.

The key to the success of the scheme will be how well the Government can publicise the credits but we hope that Britain will start taking spend from other countries.”

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