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Chancellor George Osborne's enhanced film tax relief bid gets EU approval

Published 20/08/2015

George Osborne tries out a virtual camera on a visit to Ealing Studios in west London
George Osborne tries out a virtual camera on a visit to Ealing Studios in west London

George Osborne's plan to give further tax breaks to Britain's film industry has been given European Union approval.

The Chancellor said he hoped the approval of the 25% tax credit would help the UK attract the production of more films like Oscar winner Gravity.

The measure will mean a British film costing £40 million will receive an additional £1 million towards production costs.

Mr Osborne announced the scheme while visiting the set of Agatha Raisin, a new British detective series being filmed in Wiltshire, which is benefiting from the government's TV tax relief, set at the same level as the new film discount.

He said: "British-made films are watched and celebrated all over the world - last year alone we saw eight British-made films nominated for an Oscar.

"A key part of our long-term economic plan is supporting our creative industries that contribute billions to the economy and provide millions of jobs.

"We want to see more films, like Gravity and Avengers: Age of Ultron, made in Britain and that's why we've made our film tax relief even more generous."

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill said: "The film tax relief is a key ingredient in the UK's winning combination of outstanding film-making talent and crews, world-leading studios and facilities, and iconic locations.

"It keeps us competitive on the world stage, and helps grow our economy and create jobs at home.

"We warmly welcome this extension to the tax relief and the government's continued commitment to the UK's thriving film industry."

Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive at Pinewood studios said: "The Chancellor's announcement of further enhancing film tax credit is a clear demonstration of how this government has supported UK film and helped fuel growth in the creative industries to the benefit of the taxpayer.

"We look forward to working with UK and global film producers and keeping the UK at the heart of international film and television production."

The government's film tax relief has supported almost £8 billion of production expenditure since its introduction, including films such as Gravity, Maleficent and Harry Potter.

According to the Treasury, it supported 222 films in 2014.

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