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International film and TV spend in the UK at record high

OutlanderThe UK’s reputation as one of the world’s top production hubs has been further enhanced with news of a record-breaking production spend from inward investment in 2016. 

The British Film Institute’s Research and Statistics Unit has released the figures, which show that last year in the UK £1.35bn came from international feature films and £478m from high-end TV drama, including returners such as Netflix’ The Crown and Starz’ Outlander. 

The statistics mark an increase on the previous year’s inward investment spend: in the case of TV drama the figure is up 11% on the previous year and in feature film a positive difference of 18% was recorded. 

UK studios have been full with major films, with Disney being a huge contributor. Projects included the juggernaut that is Star Wars and its spin-offs, Ready Player One and Transformers: The Last Knight. 

Many of these projects ventured outside London and the south east areas for location work, demonstrating the appeal of the nations and regions as well as the capital to international producers. Spielberg based much of the filming for Ready Player One in Birmingham while Transformers used multiple backdrops including Oxfordshire, north Yorkshire and Northumberland. 

High-end TV drama made a serious imprint on the money map too: Netflix’ high-spending period drama the Crown is already in production in London on Series 2 with plans for multiple seasons in the future, while fellow returner Outlander showcases Scottish locations

Chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, Adrian Wootton, said of the figures: “2016 was a banner year for the UK’s film and TV industries, which attracted record levels of inward investment and some of the world’s most ambitious productions. 

“Our industry offers the ‘complete package’ in terms of talent, skills, facilities, VFX expertise and competitive tax reliefs, so it’s no wonder international film and TV clients continue to make the UK their destination of choice.”

For more on filming in the UK, head over to our production guide. 



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