UK Update

Joseph Chianese
Joseph Chianese Member Posts: 45

British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton OBE gave evidence yesterday at the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport Committee hearing on the British Film and High-End Television inward investment sector. Issues covered included Production growth levels, stage space capacity, skills, levelling up, tax credits and opportunities from the VFX tax credit uplift and new Independent Film Tax Credit, and business rates. Also representing inward investment were Andrew Smith OBE DL from Pinewood Group Limited and UK Screen Alliance CEO Neil Hatton“I’m cautiously optimistic…it’s not going be 2022 levels, but nor will it be going back to what we were in 2016 or 2017, because we are in an incredibly competitive place to make high-end film and TV and we’ve put the measures in place to continue to be attractive in a ferociously competitive market […]Even though it’s slow and 2024 is not going to be what 2022 was, it is starting to go back, there are major film and TV starts happening in the UK nations and regions’ studios as we speak and that will be further escalated by the changes made in the Budget.

Two weeks ago, the UK introduced a 40% tax relief for films budgeted up to £15m (approximately USD $19M) in a bid to reignite and support their indie sector.   

From April 1, the new indie relief will be separate to the pre-existing film and high-end TV tax credit, but both will fall under the new Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (“AVEC”) system. The local industry has been calling for the move for months. Films will qualify if they pass a “new British film Institute test.” Productions can make claims from April 1, 2025, related to any expenditures incurred from April 1, 2024.

Also announced - there will be a 5% increase in tax relief for UK VFX costs in film and high-end TV, and the cost cap of 80% will be removed.

Last year, the UK enhanced their Films and high-end TV programs, with a headline credit rate of 34% (this equates to 25.5% in actual relief, capped at 80% of core expenditure, but with no budget limit - or up to 29.25% for animation and children’s TV).  The Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit (“AVEC”), a reform from the film and TV tax relief system, came into play at the start of this year, and equated to a small increase on the 25% previously available.

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