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Tax break would ‘reignite’ kids sector

CMC: The potential tax break for UK children’s live-action television could be worth almost £3m (US$5.1m) a year to the government, according to research for local producers’ group Pact.

The trade association believes the tax credits agreed by the government in recent years for film, high-end television and animation should be extended to children’s TV and now has the figures to back up its campaign, which launches today.

The research considers the direct and indirect impact of the proposed tax credit on the UK TV industry and predicts that a tax break will boost production and trigger new international hits, delivering estimated annual credits of £7.9m.

Pact CEO John McVay will today participate in a session at The Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield on the subject of the potential tax credit.

The scheme for children’s television could also help boost international coproduction opportunities, as well as improve TV exports, McVay says.

Mike Watts, founder of Horrid Henry producer Novel Entertainment, said: “The government’s tax credit for animation has had a real impact, increasing the number of animation programmes and attracting new coproductions from overseas partners.”

The move attracted £52m of spend, with £8m in inward investment, in just one year, he said, adding that it would make economic sense to extend such relief to live-action.

“A live-action tax credit has the potential to reignite the children’s television industry. Britain has historically excelled in creating unique and memorable television for our children – think of Play School, Grange Hill, Horrible Histories and Teletubbies,” said Watts.

“It’s time to give the industry the stimulus it needs to so it can continue to make innovative, exciting, quality television for British children.”

The report, Give Kids a Break: The Economic Case for a Children’s TV Tax Credit, can be read in full here.

In related news, Pact has launched a new ‘TV Commissions’ mobile app it hopes will help drive business between US TV commissioners and UK indies. Available from July 4, the app offers UK indies the details of more than 70 commissioners of content for US television.


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