TV production companies have hailed George Osborne’s decision to give almost £200 million of tax breaks to high-end drama by 2018.
The new rule comes into force on April 1 and the Budget forecasts that once the scheme gains momentum, TV producers will claim tax benefits worth about £60 million a year in 2017 and 2018. Productions “must be certified culturally British” by the Department of Culture in order to get tax relief.
“The new TV tax credit is a major shot in the arm for the industry,” said Simon Vaughan, chief executive of London production firm Lookout Point, which backed ITV’s Titanic and is behind the BBC’s forthcoming War and Peace.
“Suddenly shooting at home has become a real option. In recent years that simply wasn’t the case. I think we will see more British projects staying at home as well as an influx of foreign production choosing the UK.”
Ireland, Canada and South Africa have wooed talent with big tax breaks in recent years.
The computer games industry was disappointed by the Budget, which admitted planned tax breaks have been delayed as the European Commission is carrying out a “cultural test” consultation.