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Production statistics 2013: new tax relief boosts high-end TV while international film production remains strong

30 January 2014

Today saw the publication of the BFI’s annual 2013 UK production statistics, confirming the UK as one of the world’s major hubs for film and television production, which together generated over £1 billion of inward investment last year.

International film production generated £868 million for the UK economy through inward investment in 2013. The figure demonstrates the extent to which major productions have continued to take advantage of the UK’s world-class crews, studios, VFX, post production and locations.

Still first choice for major feature film production

37 inward investment features were produced in the UK in 2013 including The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney, Muppets Most Wanted, Sir Ridley Scott’s Exodus starring Christian Bale, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mortdecai, starring Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow, Dracula Untold, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, starring Cate Blanchett, and Jupiter Ascending, one of three major Warner Bros. films to have shot in the UK last year.

The support and guidance provided by the British Film Commission’s UK and US teams from development through to distribution remains integral to the success of inward investment film and television production in the UK. The expertise and advice offered has contributed to many major productions choosing to shoot here, including Through the Looking Glass, Disney’s upcoming sequel to box office smash Alice in Wonderland, which will start production in the UK later this year.

Muppets Most Wanted (© Disney)

Tax relief helps high-end TV thrive

2013 also saw the UK become a major force in internationally financed television, thanks in no small part to the introduction of the High-end Television Tax Relief last April. The statistics show £150 million of inward investment television was produced in the UK, including major US shows Outlander, Veep and the hugely popular Elementary joining the global phenomenon Game of Thrones which has shot for four seasons in Northern Ireland.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, praised the UK’s performance last year, saying: “As the statistics demonstrate, the Film Tax Relief continues to prove itself to be a resounding success, as well as a cornerstone of growth in the UK’s wider creative industries. Since the launch of the new tax reliefs in April, the BFC has been working to promote their benefits and our first-class production industries to the world. It is therefore hugely gratifying to see that paying off by welcoming so many high-end television productions in such a relatively short space of time”.

Continuing success in 2014

2014 has started strongly too, with titles such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and the hugely anticipated Star Wars 7 just two of the major features set to shoot here this year. High-end television is also performing well throughout the UK’s nations and regions, with 24: Live Another Day starring Kiefer Sutherland currently shooting in London, Galavant confirmed to shoot in Wales and the South-West, and new seasons of Downton Abbey and Peaky Blinders also set to shoot in the UK in 2014.

View the full 2013 UK Production Statistics here.