UK film and drama spending hits record £5.64bn | News

The figure confirms the recovery in film and drama production since the pandemic and is £1.27bn higher than in the pre-pandemic year 2019.

April to June was the commercial part of the production year with £2.29bn of high-end film and TV production spending, the highest three-month period on record for film and HETV spending, exceeding £1.54 billion generated from July to September 2019.

Investment and co-production films and HETV shows generated £4.77bn, or 84% of production spend, underlining the UK’s global reputation as a global center for film and television production. HETV broadcasts accounted for £3.44bn, or 72% of total combined spend; feature films contributed £1.33 billion, or 28% of spending.

The 2021 production statistics also reveal the growing investment made by streaming platforms in long-running one-off productions. In 2021, there were 36 UK domestic and foreign investment productions which contributed £737m to HETV expenditure of £4.09bn. These productions include Pinocchio, Matilda: The Musical, Persuasion and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The number of films entering production in the UK in 2021 was 209 films, 75 more than expected for 2020, a year that was significantly disrupted by the onset of the pandemic. Total spend on film production in the UK in 2021 was £1.55bn, an increase of 13% on the £1.36bn spend reported in 2020. Major Investment Films incoming included The Batman, Aquaman 2, The Marvels and Mission: Impossible 7.

HETV production in the UK has exploded since the introduction of the UK’s HETV tax relief (2013), generating a new record expenditure of £4.09 billion in 2021 from 211 productions. It is 155% higher than 2020 and 85% higher than the pre-pandemic record of £2.21bn generated in 2019. Foreign investment and co-production – 55% of all HETV shows – are driving of this growth, accounting for £3.44 billion or 84% of total expenditure.

Spending on animated TV programs made in the UK in 2021 was £73m across 30 productions. This represents a 19% drop in spending on animation programs in 2020, but as new data becomes available, it could increase; it is 20% higher than the £61m expenditure reported last February for 2020, which was later updated.

Ben Roberts, chief executive of BFI, said: “The record level of film and television production in the UK revealed today is good news for our industry and the UK economy and demonstrates the speed of the sector’s recovery. The foundations for future growth are underway with expanding studio spaces and production hotspots in our countries and regions, and working with industry to build the skilled workforce we need. to meet demand and stay on top of our game. Government support for production with tax breaks for the screen sector and the film and television production restart program have played an important role in the growth and recovery of the industry.

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