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Star Wars 7 given £30m tax credit for UK filming

JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens received filming tax credit support of around £30m to shoot in the UK in 2014.

Production was based at Pinewood Studios near London, but also filmed on location in Abu Dhabi and off the west coast of Ireland. The film was released in December and has so far made £1.4bn worldwide.

Lucasfilm has made a long-term commitment to Pinewood Studios. Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens (pictured), the production company has spent around £200m on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, according to reports seen by Politico, and the next in the franchise, Star Wars Episode VIII, is currently shooting.

Tax relief of up to 25% is available to films spending at least £20m in the UK. Movies must spend at least 10% of their total production budgets in the UK to qualify for the tax credit support.

Disney has had a strong presence in the UK in recent years through both its Lucasfilm and Marvel brands, and has received more than £250m in tax credit support for 18 separate shoots. 

High-spending Disney productions have included sci-fi movie John Carter and Thor: The Dark World. Joss Whedon’s superhero sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron was also based in London and currently has the record for the highest tax credit support at just under £32m, according to Politico.

London remains one of the world’s top production hubs, but limited studio space means many shoots – particularly TV – end up adapting warehouses and industrial buildings as filming facilities.

The UK faces strong competition from North American cities like Atlanta – which has now turned into the main base of operations for Marvel – as well as Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.

For more on filming in the UK see our production guide.

Image: Lucasfilm

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