U.K. Film & High-End TV Production Spend Tops £2.34 Billion


According to new figures from the BFI, inward investment in U.K. film and high-end TV (HETV) reached £2.34 billion ($3.2 billion) in 2020 despite the initial impact of COVID-19.

The British Film Commission (BFC) has provided support and guidance to productions and companies accounting for 91 percent of the total inward investment HETV spend in 2020, and 93 percent of inward investment feature film spend in the U.K.

In 2019, HETV production reached £1.29 billion, a 51 percent increase on the previous year, making it the largest on record. Film production reached £1.74 billion, a 17 percent increase.

The figures released by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit show inward investment spend on HETV production reached £1.13 billion in 2020, a 29 percent decrease on 2019’s figures. Feature film production generated £1.21 billion in inward investment spend in 2020, a 32 percent decrease.

Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: “As today’s figures show, production recovery in the U.K. is well underway and demand for content is not only still there, but in fact greater than ever before. Our sector, like many, has faced unprecedented challenges, but thanks to the sheer talent of our workforce and the creative and technological innovation of our companies and infrastructure, we were swift in developing ways of continuing to produce outstanding content. Film and high-end TV have an important role to play in the U.K.’s economy, providing U.K. plc with billions of pounds into the nations and regions and supporting hundreds and thousands of jobs.”

Ben Roberts, BFI chief executive, said: “After an unbelievably tough year, today’s figures show an incredibly vibrant and positive picture for film and TV in the U.K. Last spring it was hard to imagine that we would be generating £1 billion worth of production activity in the final quarter which has been achieved by industry and government pulling together and the determination of our workforce to get back up and running. This sector is primed to grow with expansion underway in studios and production hot spots across the U.K., delivering more jobs and more to the economy. It’s been a challenging year for cinemas but we remain optimistic for the day when we can welcome back audiences and it’s brilliant to see some of the U.K.’s greatest talent making big pictures such as 1917 which topped the box office before the pandemic hit.”