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UK remains leading centre for film and TV production despite industry challenges

The Business Magazine article image for: UK remains leading centre for film and TV production despite industry challenges
5 February 2024

The UK remains a leading centre globally for film and TV production, generating billions for the country, despite last year's well documented industry strikes in the US.

Official statistics recently released by the British Film Institute (BFI) about film and high-end TV (HETV) showed total UK inward investment (money invested into the country from outside) came in at £3.11 billion in 2023, but that was still 49% lower than in 2022.

READ MORE: Reading university professor advising on UK film and TV industry inquiry

That figure was divided into £1.04 billion on international feature film spend and £2.07 billion for high-end TV.

Last year, The British Film Commission (BFC), the government agency responsible for international film and television production here, provided support for 92% of the total inward investment HETV spend, and 97% of the total inward investment spend for feature films.

Among the world class feature films and high-end TV titles, which were made in London and the South East, were The Amateur, The Day of the Jackal, Ghostbusters Afterlife: Frozen Empire, Beetlejuice sequel, Deadpool 3, The Gorge, House of the Dragon Season 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, The Diplomat Season 2.

The South West was home to filming of TV series Rivals expected to be broadcast in the UK on Disney+ this year and upcoming feature film Speak No Evil.

Adrian Wootton OBE, the chief executive of the British Film Commission, said: "Globally, the current environment for film and TV production has become challenging for a number of reasons and it will come as no surprise that as a result of industrial action in the US suspending production half way through the year, today’s figures are lower than those for 2022.

"However, despite this, we remain incredibly proud of the UK’s position as a leading global centre for film and TV production, post and visual effects, attracting international and domestic producers to make their content here."

BFI chief executive Ben Roberts added: "The production and box office figures that we have published today reflect the different dynamics at play across our sector.

"Whilst a level of film and high-end television production in the UK was disrupted by strikes in 2024, our industry continues to contribute billions to the UK economy and support a huge range of jobs. At the same time, audiences showed up in record numbers for must-see movies including Barbie, Oppenheimer and Wonka all of which exemplify the talent and artistry of so many UK creatives."

Roberts added: "The UK’s seven production hubs across its four nations continue to attract major international film and HETV productions due to their first-rate studios, crew, infrastructure, locations and production support.

"As a result, local economies throughout the UK continue to benefit through employment of local crews and direct and multiplier spending."

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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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