U.K. Government to Introduce New Tax Relief for Studios


Delivering the U.K. government’s spring budget 2024 speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt unveiled plans for a 40 percent corporate tax relief for film and TV studio facilities until 2034.

Hunt said that new tax breaks and investments will help to establish the U.K. as a world-leader in high-growth industries. As such, the U.K.’s creative industries will be backed by over £1 billion, including higher tax reliefs to lower the cost of producing visual effects in high-end TV and film, a 40 percent relief on gross business rates until 2034 will be introduced for eligible film studios, and a new tax credit for independent British films with a budget of less than £15 million.

“We have become Europe’s largest film and TV production center with Idris Elba, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom all filming their latest productions here,” Hunt said.

“Studio space in the U.K. has doubled in the last three years. At the current rate of expansion, we will be second only to Hollywood globally by the end of 2025.

“In the autumn statement, I committed to providing more tax relief for visual effects in film and high-end TV. I can today confirm we will increase the rate of tax credit by 5 percent and remove the 80 percent cap for visual effects costs in the audio-visual expenditure credit.

“Having worked closely with the Culture Secretary and listened carefully to representations from companies like Pinewood, Warner Brothers and Sky Studios, we will provide eligible film studios in England with 40 percent relief on their gross business rates until 2034.

“And having heard representations from the British Film Institute, PACT and indeed the Prime Minister, we will introduce a new tax credit for U.K. independent films with a budget of less than £15 million.”

Responding to the budget statement, Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: “Today’s announcements demonstrate timely and welcome action by government, which will significantly boost the U.K.’s world-class film and TV industry in the face of growing international competition.

“Recent increases to studio business rates in England and Wales have threatened to impact the U.K.’s ability to compete globally. The British Film Commission has worked tirelessly to reflect industry’s concerns to government and achieve a beneficial outcome for all. The rates relief announced today will help ensure our studios can continue to thrive, planned developments proceed, and the U.K. continue to attract increasing levels of domestic and global production, maintaining our reputation as one of the best places in the world to make film and TV.”

“The British Film Commission will be supporting all stakeholders as the relief is rolled out. We will also continue to liaise with the studio business rates working group, the Valuation Office Agency, government and industry to secure the best longer term outcome through the business rates statutory framework.”

Wootton added: “We are absolutely thrilled by today’s announcement of a 5 percent increase in tax credits for VFX, and removal of the 80 percent cap. This timely and welcome boost for our world-leading VFX sector will allow it to continue to compete in the face of increasingly stiff global competition.”

Continued Wootton: “Today’s announcement of a new tax credit for independent films with budgets up to £15 million is a game-changer for our whole sector. Limited-budget films are an essential part of a balanced U.K. production ecosystem. They provide the space to air fresh British voices as well as the seed-bed for a workforce able to move on to major domestic and inward investment productions. We fully endorse today’s measures to support our much-loved and much-needed independent sector.”