Movies play a £4.6bn role in brightening the UK picture

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The Independent Online

The success of films such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The King's Speech and The Inbetweeners meant the UK film industry contributed more than £4.6bn to the economy last year, according to a report released today.

The study, carried out by Oxford Economics, shows that while UK film directly contributed £1.6bn to the economy last year, this figure rises to £4.6bn when taking into account other factors such as the boost it gives to tourism and trade.

The direct contribution of £1.6bn is up from around £1.5bn last year, although lower than 2009, when the study says the industry contributed more than £1.7bn.

However, the independent report – commissioned by the British Film Institute and film studios Pinewood Shepperton – said that in 2011 the film industry supported 44,000 direct jobs, an increase of 8,000 on 2009, and 117,000 jobs indirectly (up 17,000).

The study also suggested films showing off the UK give a yearly boost to international tourist spending to the UK of up to £2.1bn, translating into a contribution of roughly £1bn to the economy.

Ed Vaizey, the minister for culture, communications and creative industries, said the report "reminds us of the crucial role the industry plays in job creation, tourism, inward investment and the promotion of all that is great about Britain".

Although Pinewood Shepperton chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said the study showed the industry was "performing well relative to today's economic climate", he added: "We can do more."

He said: "We now need to look at how to enable further investment in infrastructure and how to build on the UK's growing international reputation to boost exports."

Pinewood Shepperton had a £200m expansion plan rejected in January, and is in the process of preparing a new application.