With the UK set to leave the European Union, the Brussels Capital Region is launching a major initiative to attract UK-based businesses in the film, broadcast and creative industries to base themselves in the Belgian capital, ensuring they can continue to operate seamlessly across Europe following Brexit. With the nature of the UK’s relationship with the EU still unclear, these industries face multiple risks, from losing access to the European talent pool, to the withdrawal of continental broadcast rights under the common EU licence.
Backed by the Brussels’ regional government, regional trade associations and industry bodies, the initiative aims to bring UK-based businesses to the Brussels Capital Region and help them secure the future of their European operations.
UK-based broadcasters who currently air channels across Europe will need a presence on the continent to continue broadcasting under an EU licence to these territories. EU funding schemes such as Creative Europe play a critical role in supporting the creative industries and, depending on the shape of the final relationship with the EU, UK businesses may lose access to this funding without a base in the EU. Many businesses in the creative sector also rely on the wider European talent pool to staff their businesses, and a common regulatory and legal framework to offer digital services across the continent, and will need to co-locate themselves in the EU if they are to continue to access these benefits.
“As the date for the UK’s exit from the EU draws nearer, there is increasing uncertainty over the shape of the final relationship,” noted Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade at the Region of Brussels. “Businesses operating in the creative industries, such film and video, broadcast media and gaming, need to prepare now for any eventuality, and as a priority ensure that they can continue to operate seamlessly across the UK and EU. The only way to guarantee this is to establish a base of operations within the EU and, as the Brexit deadline bears down upon us, there are multiple reasons why businesses should act now to guarantee this presence in the EU.”
As the capital of Belgium and home to a number of key regulators for the creative industries, Brussels says it is the ideal location for any media organisation, from film production to video game development, to place their European and global-focused operations. Brussels can offer attractive tax conditions for productions based in the city and screen.brussels, an organisation dedicated to supporting the creative industries, which is backed by local government and trade bodies and offers services such as business support, logistical advice and funding. Brussels also features a newly regenerated development dedicated to the media and creative industries, already home to the national TV stations, with offices, workspaces, sports and leisure facilities and retail outlets.
Its proponents suggest that as the home of the EU, media and creative businesses based in Brussels can benefit from much closer proximity to key decision-makers, regulators and funding bodies, as well as access the European talent pool and operate under the common legal and regulatory framework that enables the seamless delivery of digital services across Europe.
“With a well-educated local workforce and very attractive conditions for foreign nationals moving to our region, as well as competitive house prices, a good education system and a cosmopolitan city centre, Brussels represents a fantastic option for both work and family life. Just two hours from London on the Eurostar, and well-connected to Europe and the rest of the world, Brussels is a prime location for British and any other businesses looking to maintain and grow their presence on the European and global stage,” added Jodogne.
The Brussels Capital Region is organising a series of events at the Belgian Embassy in London designed to outline the attractions of the Region to UK-based businesses, covering the finance, life sciences and audio-visual sectors.
The campaign slogan is ‘The Future is close. Brussels is yours’.