Leading figures from the UK’s thriving animation sector today gathered at BFI Southbank for a special Animation Day hosted by the BFI Certification Unit to educate the industry about the new tax reliefs for animation programmes.
The packed event opened with keynote addresses from BFI CEO, Amanda Nevill and Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey. During his speech the Minister welcomed the BFI’s role in ensuring the animation tax relief certification procedures were up and running quickly and noted that the new system is already proving valuable to the UK’s animation companies. The Minister cited an Aquarium Studios project called Mouse and Mole at Christmas Time, which had been in development for 15 years and has now finally been made possible as a direct result of the tax credit.
A total of 16 animation programmes have now received certification from the BFI, the first step in accessing the UK’s competitive new tax relief for animation programmes, and a further eight have received letters of comfort confirming they qualify as British and will be eligible for the tax relief.
Among the 16 animation projects to so far receive certification from the BFI are:
- The Clangers, a co-production between CBeebies, Coolabi, Smallfilms and Sprout, which will return to the small screen in 2015
- Danger Dog from Cornwall-based animation company, Spider Eye
- Q Pootle 5 from London-based Snapper Productions
- The Numtums from Bristol-based A Productions
- Ruff-Ruff, Tweet & Dave from Collingwood & Co.
- Calamity Island, Famous Flying Films and Mackinnon & Saunders’ stop motion comedy series for CBeebies
- Mouse and Mole at Christmas Time, a co-production by Grasshopper Productions, Baird TV (part of Aquarium Studios) and Clive Juster and Associates set to be shown on CBeebies in December 2013
- Chop Chop (working title), Studio AKA’s series for CBeebies and BBC Worldwide
- Toggle from London-based Beakus
- Poppy Cat Series II from Coolabi Productions
- Boj from Sussex-based Pesky
- Five Fables from Belfast-based Flickerpix
- Sarah and Duck, Karrot Entertainment’s CBeebies series
- Llan-ar-goll-en from Cwmni Da, the first episode of which is set to air on S4C in December 2013
BFI Deputy CEO, Tim Cagney comments:
We are excited by the opportunity the new relief offers our world-leading animation sector. The support the BFI has put in place to support animation, film and the wider creative industries is already helping companies bring their projects to the screen.
Creative Industries Minister, Ed Vaizey comments:
From The Clangers to Wallace and Gromit, Britain has a rich and vibrant animation heritage, and the tax relief now in place will ensure that those working in the field today have the best possible chance to be part of that heritage for future generations. The tax credit is turning the tide back in Britain’s favour, driving growth and jobs, and will hopefully encourage investment from some of the bigger international players in what is a dynamic and unique sector.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke comments:
We have designed this new tax relief to support the UK’s innovative animation sector, allowing it both to continue to contribute to British culture and to compete in the global race. I am delighted that so many projects are already set to benefit from the relief. Cross industry and government events like today are about ensuring that all animators from large to small can access the support they need.
The BFI’s Animation Day event highlighted the benefits of the new tax reliefs and the ways in which animators can access these, with panel sessions and presentations from a range of experts and funders covering topics including access to finance, international co-production, and the education and skills development support available to the sector.
The UK animation sector is highly skilled and has close links to other disciplines across the creative industries. According to Creative Skillset, in 2008 there were over 600 companies directly involved in animation in the UK, generating revenues of over £300m per year and employing around 4,700 people. Many animation companies are based outside London and the skills used in animation are transferable to a number of different industries, including games, commercials and post-production, in particular CGI and VFX.
The BFI Certification Unit, on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), issues certificates for Film, Animation and High End Television projects; the certificates are the gateway to accessing the UK’s competitive tax reliefs, which provide vital support for Britain’s world-leading creative industries and help to attract inward investment to the UK.
There have already been a number of panels and presentations across the UK to promote the new reliefs in conjunction with partners including the BFI, British Film Commission, Creative England, Creative Scotland, trade bodies including PACT and the Production Guild, and accountants from Saffery Champness and Grant Thornton. Creative Skillset has taken part in several road shows to promote their new schemes for the skills investment fund (SIF) for high-end television and animation.