Creative content and production in the UK

If you’re in animation, film, TV, visual effects or games, you’ll thrive in our atmosphere of tech-enabled innovation, strong intellectual property protection and tax support.

Overview

The UK offers creative content producers, excellent facilities and locations, a world-leading technical and creative skills base, and strong government support.

The UK film industry is booming. Our games creators operate in a rapidly expanding market. High end TV and animation are appreciated worldwide and are supported by generous tax breaks.

The UK's creative strengths

Work with the best in film, TV and VFX

Our TV production is one of the world’s largest providers of original content. There are over 1,500 independent TV production companies, and over 44,000 people working in the industry.

In the UK, you’ll find:

  • access to studios that can host any size of film or TV production
  • highly skilled technicians and world class actors
  • leading companies in post- production and visual effects

Six of the world’s largest film studios, including Warner Bros and Disney, have operations here. We’re also the home of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

We offer state-of-the-art studio facilities suitable for the biggest movie productions and a variety of locations from urban scenes to unique historical sites.

International TV sales reached over 1.2 billion GBP in 2014/15, and we’re the world leaders in exporting TV formats, bought by different markets and localised. For example, The Great British Bake off format is now reproduced in 20 countries.

We’re also a world class film talent base, with a very strong visual effects (VFX) industry. The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects has had a UK nominee for 6 of the last 7 years.

Animation thrives across all areas

Our animation market generates over 300 million GBP in revenues every year. There’s a high crossover of talent between the creative industries, and animated content is also increasingly in demand.

Companies based in the UK produce content for films, TV and commercials, and the opportunities for mobile and gaming content are growing rapidly.

Merchandising and visitor experience creation are 2 related growth areas with a large appetite for animated content.

A growing games market with a sophisticated audience

The UK has one of the most advanced games industries globally, with over 30 years’ experience of producing some of the world’s most innovative and commercially successful titles. It’s underpinned by world-class universities producing a stream of talented developers and designers, an enthusiastic gaming population as well as a business environment that meshes creative and technical expertise.

British gamers spend more on games than in any other European country. Our digital games market is the world’s sixth largest. This is supported by high speed internet, high social network penetration and high smartphone usage. You’ll find an audience for gaming here which is one of the most established, diverse and progressive in the world.

We’re at the forefront of social and mobile platforms, with a rapidly growing startup scene and more than a third of UK studios focusing on the mobile market. Konami, King.com, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts all have a presence here.

Companies are in a great position to grow in the global games market. You’ll benefit from our high level of screen and video effects and animation skills crossover.

The UK's creative talent and skills

Recruitment of new talent with fresh ideas and technical knowhow is easier in the UK. For example, over three-quarters of our games workforce holds an undergraduate degree, and there’s a higher proportion of postgraduate degrees than anywhere else in the world.

Creative companies employ over 1.9 million people, and as a content producer and distributor based here you’ll be able to select from a pool of over 100,000 creative subject graduates per year.

A strong commitment to research and development in the UK across all content production areas helps us adopt new technologies first and stay ahead of the competition.

Government help for creative businesses in the UK

The UK government is fully committed to supporting the UK as a creative nation.

Your innovative content will be protected and supported here. We support creative businesses in the UK by employing a strong intellectual property regime and regulatory framework. We also have a number of internationally renowned trade associations offering professional guidance, training and development.

Our creative tax relief offers help in starting or growing your business here, and has made production more attractive than ever. This allows businesses to access a rebate of up to 25% of qualifying spend for:

  • film
  • animation
  • high-end and children’s TV
  • video games development
  • theatre

We also offer a number of world-class digital startup programmes and opportunities for angel investment in creative content enterprises.

All of these measures complement our low level of corporation tax, which is set to drop to 17% by 2020.

The government also has up to 50 billion GBP available to support finance and insurance for supplies from within the UK to buyers outside the UK. This support takes the form of guarantees, insurance and loans issued by its export credit agency, UK Export Finance.

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