The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, today officially launched a major tax incentive to encourage greater investment in the UK games industry and celebrated the success of the high-end television tax relief which has already contributed an additional £140 million to the UK economy, at an event in Central London.
The event was hosted by games industry body Ukie and the TV Coalition, representing companies from across the UK TV sector, at BAFTA and follows the recent European Commission approval of the games industry tax relief.
The economic and cultural impact of the high-end television relief to date was revealed in detail at the event. To date, there have been 38 applications for the TV tax relief. Five productions have received final certification and spent £13m in the UK. A further 22 have interim certification with a projected total UK spend of £130m. The games industry is hoping to replicate this success, Ian Livingstone CBE told the audience, and continuing to improving the skills pipeline will be crucial if this is to happen.
Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist added: “The introduction of a tax relief for games will help our sector get back to the top of the global games leader board with world class made-in-the UK games. Many people have put in years of hard work to present the most robust, evidence-based case possible to not only the UK government, but also to the European Commission. To have the chance to celebrate this moment with a supportive Chancellor, and colleagues from the games industry, is fantastic. I’d like to thank the hundreds of games companies, organisations, individuals across the country, as well as the government and civil servants who worked so hard to get us here.
“Our job now is to ensure companies of all sizes benefit and that we have a healthy and diverse flow of talented people to transform our innovative, creative sector into an economic powerhouse.”
TV Coalition Chair and Chief Executive of Pact, John McVay commented: “One year on from the introduction of the high end TV tax relief, almost 40 productions have applied for this credit, rather than going abroad or not making their shows at all. This tax relief has supported the growth of the television industry, boosted our competitiveness and brought new employment and training opportunities to across the UK. It is clear that the tax relief has already provided a significant boost to the sector and we look forward to continued success both for the sector and UK GDP in the years ahead.”
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London said: “Government support for the UK’s creative industries has ensured we can compete globally and has allowed the UK to become a world leader in this field. The British Film Commission and our partners recognise and applaud this ongoing commitment and we are delighted to see how it has translated into investment, job creation and securing our international reputation. The high-end television tax relief has allowed the BFC to promote the UK’s excellent talent, crew and facilities to a new international client-base, as well as creating exciting opportunities for our domestic industry and the Animation Tax Relief is also making an impact on the UK’s innovative and award-winning animation sector. We look forward to working with the wider creative industries to secure similar results for the games industry.”