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Film production boosted by £1bn creative industries plan.

Chorley Bunce TV & Film Location Catering where delighted to hear the news from last week’s Budget for the TV & Film Industry.  More than £1bn in tax relief has been provided to the UK’s creative industries in the chancellor’s Spring Budget to encourage film production and boost orchestras, theatres, museums and galleries.

 On Wednesday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a new tax credit for UK independent films that have a budget of less than £15mn.

 The policy is intended to help a sector that has been threatened by cutbacks to the commissioning budgets of large US streamers and UK public sector broadcasters.  

 Hunt also announced that eligible studios in England would receive 40 per cent relief on their business rates until 2034, which will boost large studios such as Elstree and Pinewood. 

Dana Strong, chief executive of Sky, which owns studios in the village of Elstree, Hertfordshire, said the chancellor had provided “vital tax relief to enable the UK’s world-class film and TV production sector to continue to thrive”. 

 Strong said the measures gave “a stable foundation for the investments of tomorrow in the UK,” including a proposal for a new Sky Studios Elstree North scheme. 

She also announced that filming of NBCUniversal’s Jurassic World 4 will begin at Elstree this year. The film is part of the Jurassic Park franchise, of which “the last film generated over 2,000 jobs and £180mn of spend in the UK”. 

The chancellor also promised separate funding for a new studio complex in Sunderland, north-east England, the Crown Works Studios, through a new devolution deal.  

Additional tax relief on visual effects expenditure was confirmed by Hunt, delivering on a promise made in the Autumn Statement to address concerns that skilled workers were moving to other countries where costs were lower. 

The chancellor said he planned to permanently increase the rates of tax relief for orchestras, theatres, museums and galleries at 45 per cent for touring productions and 40 per cent for non-touring productions from April 1 2025. 

Sir Peter Bazalgette, the former ITV chief executive who leads the government-backed Creative Industries Council, said the chancellor had given a “number of very helpful measures” for the sector. 

He added: “Independent films have been under enormous pressure, which has been a concern given the sector is a great test-bed for talent for the UK. 

“The tax relief being made permanent for theatres, museums and galleries is also welcome,” he noted, as local arts was under strain. 

Caroline Norbury, chief executive of Creative UK, which invests in and supports companies in the sector, described it as “positive news” and committed “to further investment to develop creative content and IP”. 

However, some in the industry said the chancellor should have gone further, especially for those working in TV, which has suffered one of the worst slumps in advertising revenues in a generation. A petition posted online by worried workers said that “the industry is on its knees with thousands of TV workers, at all levels, unable to secure work over the past 12 months and still out of work today”.

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