British Film Commission Trumpets Film Tax Approval

Stuart Kemp

LONDON -- The British Film Commission has touted that enhancements to the U.K.’s film tax relief have received State Aid approval Wednesday.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced the rubber stamp for the plans Wednesday during his budget. The changes, which were included in the Chancellor’s Budget speech, will take effect from April 1. 

Iain Smith, British Film Commission chairman and film and television producer, said: "The British Film Industry continues to demonstrate its value both in terms of job creation, international investment and creative and technical expertise, as demonstrated by British successes as this year’s Academy Awards and BAFTAs. We are delighted by this further recognition of the value of the creative industries to the British government."

STORY: U.K. Confirms Bolstered Tax Incentives for Big-Budget Movies 

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, added: "The BFC co-ordinated an industry response to the government consultation on the enhancements to the Tax Relief so we are thrilled that they will be implemented from April 1. Importantly it will allow the U.K.’s world-class VFX and post production sectors to remain competitive and the BFC will be hosting a group of senior US executives next month to capitalize on the new opportunities. It’s also important to note the hugely positive impact of the tax relief changes on the UK’s international co-production prospects, opening up opportunities with a wide range of international territories."

The previously reported changes include making the film tax relief available at 25 percent on the first $35 million (£20 million) of qualifying production expenditure and 20 percent thereafter, for small and large budget films.

And crucially for Hollywood, the minimum UK expenditure requirement will be reduced from 25 percent to 10 percent to encourage further investment in the UK and benefit visual effects and wider industry, helping UK independent production companies by encouraging minority co-productions where the UK spend is less than 25 percent.