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London now third busiest city for filmmaking

London has grown to become the third busiest city in the world for filmmaking after LA and New York. With a new investment scheme and tax relief both coming into effect in the same week, the UK’s capital is becoming an increasingly attractive production hub.

From the first of April a new tax credit system came into effect for high-end TV and animation production in the UK. The scheme sees the television sector follow in the footsteps of the film industry which, since the introduction of the UK film tax relief in 2007, has seen a growth of 75%, with approximately £150m film tax credit provided during 2010-11. Hopes are therefore high that the impact on television is also significant.

The system is designed to allow the UK to be globally competitive for big budget international TV projects and also to ensure domestic productions are shot in the UK.

Boosting the local industry’s quest to make the city a world destination for TV and film production, the Mayor of London has now announced new investment in London’s film, TV and animation industries to boost jobs, support home grown talent and attract high-end productions.

The Mayor is expanding the remit of the capital’s film commission, Film London, to bring in £200m worth of additional expenditure through TV and animation production and create 1000 industry jobs. He will invest £2m to broaden Film London’s reach, with £750,000 ear-marked to promote the development of these sectors.

“We are at the dawn of a new golden age of TV production in London,” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said while visiting London's oldest studio facility, Ealing Studios. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to make London the city of choice for TV and animation production. It’s time for London to fulfil its potential as the world leader.”

Already enjoying tax relief for film, London is now the third busiest city in the world for filmmaking (bar LA and New York). Over the last four years Film London, already working to facilitate major motion pictures shot in the capital, generated £770m in investment and there are hopes that the agency’s scope will be expanded into high-end TV, such as dramas, mini-series, franchise shows, international co-productions and animations.

With additional funding, the city can now set its sights on new investment opportunities from markets such as US, India, China and South America.

Producer Gareth Neame, responsible for one of the world’s biggest broadcasting hits in decades; Downton Abbey, said: "We are fortunate to have one of the most vibrant TV production industries in the world here in the UK and much of that work has traditionally been located in the London area, which also boasts many of our most iconic locations. 

“Britain is the second biggest exporter of TV content in the world and a tax incentive to boost local production and encourage incoming content is long overdue. As British producers we welcome this commitment by the government.”

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