Chancellor Launches New Tax Reliefs

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The new UK Creative Sector Tax Reliefs were launched on 29 April with an event hosted by the British Film Commission. The event provided an overview of the new tax reliefs and their potential impact on the UK high-end television, animation and games industries.

George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a supportive opening speech followed by remarks by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. Both outlined the importance of the UK creative industries and how the new incentives are vital in ensuring the UK remains a world leader in these sectors, continuing to encourage investment and creating thousands of jobs. Iain Smith, Chair of the BFC acted as Master of Ceremonies and Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, who co-fund the British Film Commission also welcomed the new measures.

The Chancellor remarked “Our creative industries are one of the jewels in Britain’s crown and are just the kind of industry I want to back, which is why we are introducing these new tax breaks to help and promote production in the UK.”

“This is a game-changing measure,” said Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London. “The British Film Commission is thrilled with the extensive amount of interest that has already been generated. Today’s event is another key step in raising awareness and we will continue to work hard in attracting inward investment into the UK. We must also express thanks to Government for listening to the industry and acting accordingly. And the BFC must especially thank DCMS, UKTI, BFI and our commercial sponsors for their continued support.”

Presentations followed from industry experts and then breakout groups focusing on the individual tax reliefs. The session focusing on high-end television included a case study of HBO’s Game of Thrones which has just been renewed for its fourth season in Northern Ireland and is exactly the kind of production the new relief is designed to attract. Jay Roewe, Senior VP Production for HBO in the US and Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen provided an enlightening overview of their successful working partnership.

The high-end television session also included presentations from John Graydon, Partner at Saffery Champness and Charles Moore, Partner, Wiggin who explained the workings of the tax relief work and the cultural test.

Another breakout group focused on the animation and games sectors. The games session explained the reasons behind the recently announced EC investigation of the proposed scheme and outlined the action being taken by the UK games industry and UK government to respond to the investigation. Specific case studies of Q Pootle 5 for animation and Super Hexagon for games were explored.

The BFC hosted the event in association with Animation UK, Ukie and the BFI were delighted with the turnout of over 200 of the top UK creative industry professionals. The BFC, Animation UK and Ukie are the national agencies responsible for working with stakeholders within their own sectors to maximise the opportunities provided by the new incentives – the event was successful in its aim to engage with the UK industry, to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges and to be ready for the potential influx of business.

Prior to the conference the BFC has been promoting awareness of the new Tax Relief for High-end Television overseas. The BFC hosted successful events in both LA and New York earlier in April for US studios, broadcasters, producers and agents as well as attending MIP TV in Cannes to promote the new incentive. While last week saw the BFC welcome nine top TV executives from North America for a week long tour of the UK to provide a comprehensive overview of the UK’s high-end television industry.

For more information on the British Film Commission, please visit: http://www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk/

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