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UK Film Tax Relief provides further boost to London’s VFX houses

Date posted: 26.03.2014

Fresh from the success of Framestore at the Oscars, London's world-class VFX houses received a further boost last week when enhancements to the UK's Film Tax relief were confirmed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his Budget speech.

The enhancements take effect from 1 April and bring changes to the Cultural Test that increase in the points available for principal photography, special effects and visual effects as well as increasing the rate of relief for larger budget films – further benefiting film-makers choosing to work in the UK.

New Tax Relief benefits

It's not just film-makers wanting to make use of London's award-winning VFX houses that will benefit from the changes to the tax relief – there are a number of enhancements that offer great incentive for projects to head to the capital:

  • Film Tax Relief will be available at 25% on the first £20 million of qualifying production expenditure and 20% thereafter, for small and large budget films 
  • The minimum UK expenditure will be lowered from 25% to 10%, encouraging further investment in the UK's film industry and facilitating a greater number of co-productions
  • The cultural test will be expanded to include European as well as British Culture, in line with other creative content tax reliefs. It will also include an increase in the points available for principal photography/special effects/ visual effects as outlined above, as well as English language.

First proposed in December's Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced in his budget speech that these changes have now received State Aid Approval.

Welcoming the changes

The Film Tax Relief has helped in establishing London and the UK more widely as a global hub for major film production, with the infrastructure providing homes for productions including Gravity, The Monuments Men, Fast and Furious 6  and the upcoming Jupiter Ascending.

It's a trend that looks set to continue with Star Wars: Episode VII shooting at Pinewood Studios from May, and Avengers: Age of Ultron heading to London later this year.

On hearing the announcement, Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said:

"These changes will make the UK's world-class production industries even more attractive and accessible to international and British film-makers and further build on and expand the UK's business prospects. Importantly it will allow the UK's world-class VFX and post production sectors to remain competitive."

"It's also important to note the hugely positive impact of the tax relief changes on the UK's international co-production prospects, opening up opportunities with a wide range of international territories."

Find out more about UK Tax Relief for Film, Television and Animation for Broadcast

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