Economic Contribution of the UK’s Film, High-End TV, Video Game, and Animation Programming Sectors

Nordicity and Olsberg SPI

Medium 3626

From the report's "Introduction":

"As with many of the creative industries, the screen sectors generate significant economic and cultural benefits for the UK. In particular, the screen sectors are sources of employment for thousands of workers in the UK, while at the same time giving Britons the opportunity to experience and share the stories and values that underpin British culture. These economic and benefits provide the policy impetus for the tax reliefs. In order to better understand the scale and nature of these economic and cultural benefits the British Film Institute (BFI), Pinewood Shepperton plc, Ukie, the British Film Commission (BFC) and Pact, commissioned this study of the economic and cultural contribution of the screen sectors.

The aim of this study is to demonstrate the economic contribution of the screen sectors. The study expands upon the prior economic contribution analyses by including coverage of HETV, animation programmes and video games, thus spanning all of the screen sectors now subject to tax relief. In this regards, the study provides policymakers and the general public with a comprehensive analysis of the economic contribution generated by HM Treasury’s ongoing support for the production of culturally relevant screen-based content.


In 2012 the BFI, Pinewood Shepperton plc, the BFC and Creative England commissioned Oxford Economics to conduct a study of the economic contribution of the UK film sector (the “2012 study”). That study – which was an update to a study first prepared by Oxford Economics for the UK Film Council (UKFC) and Pinewood Shepperton plc in 2005 – provided estimates of the total employment, GVA and Exchequer revenue generated by the UK-made films. These included the direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of the core sector. The study also quantified the contribution that UK-made films made to trade and investment and investigated many of the spillover impacts, including:

• skills development, • film tourism, • culture, • merchandise sales, and • promotion of the UK brand and international trade.

This 2012 study complemented the BFI’s own annual Statistical Yearbook and provided an analysis of the ROI associated with FTR.

In developing the study’s methodology, we have built upon the methodology used for the 2012 study, The Economic Impact of the UK Film Industry, expanding it to include HETV, animation programmes and video games sectors.

As with the 2012 study, this study provides an evaluation of the core UK film sector. The definition of the core UK sector is discussed in more detail in Section 3.4 below. However, the general rule is that it reflects the economic contribution of films that are UK-qualifying films, rather than all films exhibited or viewed in the UK. In focusing on the core UK film sector, this study isolates the economic contribution that can be linked back to the FTR, and thereby provides an appropriate basis for an ROI calculation and cost-benefit analysis of the incentives.

In the case of film and the other screen sectors, the study adopts a value chain approach. Rather than just measuring the contribution of only the development and production of screen content, it tracks how this screen content stimulates downstream economic activity across the value chain, from the traditional exhibition sub-sector, through to physical media, Video on Demand (VoD) and Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD)."