UK government accused of failing the British film industry

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The UK’s creative sector is the victim of a ‘baffling failure’ on the part of the UK government, according to a new report. 

For years now, the British film industry has been held up as an economic model of success by the government, who will gladly point out the billions of pounds that it brings to these shores. However, this is not the whole picture. The government’s stance continues to encourage huge expenditure from overseas making it difficult for producers of independent British film, whilst producers on the ground have been increasingly concerned over the last year about a lack of investment in infrastructure and the impact this will have in the future, both short and long-term.

The report, which is covered by Screen Daily points out that the creative sector, of which the UK film industry is a major part, was “worth £115bn pre-pandemic, more than the aerospace, life sciences and automotive industries combined and is estimated to support 4m jobs by 2030.”

However, the report makes damaging claims that since the pandemic, other countries have seized the initiative, leaving the UK industry behind. Pointing to key areas such as tax incentives and covering skills gaps, insiders are seeing the sector fall behind with the government seemingly doing little to act.

The latter, recruitment of personnel, is certainly becoming an increasingly urgent issue in the UK film industry with 2027 set to be a crucial year where demand is predicted to significantly outstrip supply unless dramatic improvements are made in recruitment.

The report also states that “the government needs to make it easier for the investment community to assess and analyse some of these businesses, which can be risky, to inform their decisions. The big danger is that a lot of our creative IP gets bought up by foreign-owned companies.”

This is an issue that various committees have bought up and placed before the government since the 1990s, and is perhaps one of the most crucial foundations to the idea of a self-sustaining film industry. Until British companies can own their own intellectual property, the industry will always see the bulk of its profits heading beyond these shores.

Whether the report makes an impact with the government remains to be seen, but with the incumbent administration recently trying to sell off assets such as Channel 4 rather than develop their clear potential, we wouldn’t hold our breath.

Image: BigStock

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