Pinewood Shepperton revenue up 22%
by Natasha Senjanovic
The presence of Hollywood studios and innovative tax incentives helped the UK’s historic Pinewood Shepperton Studios exceed all industry expectations for 2006 as turnover increased 22% over the previous year to end at €80m. Pre-tax profits also jumped to an impressive €10.6m from just €883,000 the year before.
Although 2005 was a difficult year due to daunting tax break overhauls, last year spending on film production in the UK rose 48% to just over €1.2bn, the second highest on record.
The foreign studios that came to Britain in greater numbers further increased inward investment by 83% (to €838m), and brought with them a significant number of internationally successful films, including Casino Royale [+see also:
film profile], United 93 [+see also:
film profile], Children of Men and The Bourne Ultimatum, to name but a few.
And while the local industry must contend with increasingly fiercer competition from Eastern European countries such as Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic (see news), and naturally the US, Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy is optimistic about what his country has to offer, saying “We start with incredible skills and infrastructure here within the UK and have a long heritage of producing good film”.
Despite recent upheavals in the tax break system (see news), experts predict 2007 could be the most lucrative yet for the domestic film industry, mostly as a result of the Treasury’s new offer to provide up to 20% tax relief for small budget films and 16% for films with budgets of over roughly €30m.
Dunleavy added that Chancellor Gordon Brown's film tax credits had improved filmmakers' confidence in the UK, stating, “Our business is a long-term one. We've been around for 70 years and we are developing the business for the creative industries well into the future”.
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