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United kingdom: profile

Key facts

Government funding

Direct funding: National Yes
Direct funding: Regional Yes
Indirect funding: National Yes
Indirect funding: Regional No

Society/Industry/Market

Language English
Population 63 million
No. films produced per year 239 (2013)
Annual cinema admissions 165.5 million (2012/13)
Domestic share of box office 21.5%
No. TV households 27 million
Local content regulation on TV Yes
Legal system Common Law
Currency £GBR

Co-productions with Australia

A total of 42 official Australia/UK co-productions have been made, with combined budgets totalling $478 million. Features have been the foundation of Australia/UK co-production activity, making up almost 50 per cent of all projects to date, and with at least one produced per year between 2000/01 and 2011/12. The majority of the remaining co-productions were TV drama.

The UK's co-production partners

The UK has 10 official international partners – Australia, Canada, France, India, South Africa, Israel, New Zealand, Jamaica, the occupied Palestinian territories and most recently Morocco. Treaties with China and Brazil have also been signed but are yet to be ratified. The UK is also a signatory to the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production – allowing them to co-produce with European partners bilaterally and multi-laterally. Outside of Europe, Canada and Australia have been the UK’s most active partner countries.

Overall UK co-production output came to 37 in 2013, with UK expenditure of £54 million, a low output when compared to the previous decade, which peaked in 2005 with 106 co-productions.

Government support for co-productions and industry overview

Direct government support currently comes in the form of the British Film Institute Film Fund, with an annual budget of £18 million, and the Prints and Advertising Fund. Both are funded by the National Lottery. UK Film Tax Relief, which can be worth up to 25 per cent, is available to producers of British qualifying films and co-productions. The UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) offers a number of different tax reliefs. EIS can be responsible for funding 100 per cent of a film or TV program.

With a population of 63 million people, including 27 million TV households, the UK provides a considerable market for film and TV. Cinema admissions in 2013 totalled 165.5 million and films produced in the UK had a 21.5 per cent share of the domestic box office. TV broadcasters are required to meet a 10 per cent independent production quota, providing opportunities for co-productions. The UK also boasts a large pool of highly experienced, award-winning crews and state-of-the-art production studios and PDV infrastructure.

Most recently, the strengthening of the Australian dollar against the pound in recent years has been both an advantage and disadvantage in terms of co-production activity between Australia and the UK, with a high dollar making it easier to raise the Australian portion of the budget, but increasing all the costs associated with Australian expenditure.

In 2013, the UK Government announced changes to its film incentives designed to attract US productions for shoot and post-production. From April 2014, a rebate of 25 per cent is available on the first £20 million of qualifying production expenditure, and 20 per cent thereafter, for both small and large budget films. The minimum U.K. expenditure requirement also dropped to just 10 per cent (from 25 per cent) which should not only keep post-production within the UK, but also attract post only productions.

The changes followed the introduction of a 25 per cent tax credit for high-end TV productions, animation and video games in April 2013, designed to stimulate production and prevent drama series moving offshore.

Please note this information is correct as at October 2014.