We’ve mentioned before the appalling state that the British Animation Industry has found itself in. Despite bringing billions to the economy, despite making programs that are loved the world over, and despite producing some of the most memorable characters ever, the industry has found itself at serious risk of terminal decline.
Some of the UK’s most prominent studios, including Aardman and Astley Baker Davies, have warned the Chancellor George Osbourne that the tax breaks and incentives offered by other Countries has made it uneconomical, inefficient and frankly unviable to produce animation in this Country – the Country where most of it was conceived.
This is why Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat, Wallace and Gromit, Peppa Pig and all your other childhood favourites are all either being made in foreign Countries, or are at serious risk of being forced out.
The main problem is the lack of tax breaks in this Country. “In France, government funds and tax breaks account for almost 20% of production budgets, while Irish tax relief is worth up to 28%. In Canada, tax credits and other public support accounted for 47% of budgets in 2009/10” according to a recent BBC News article on the subject.
Overseas tax breaks make it cheaper to ship animation production abroad than to create it in this country. That combined with the facts that TV stations are only offering a small percentage of production costs in return for a larger percentage of the profits, and overall profits are down due to the recession hitting toy, book and dvd sales, means that the UK Animation Industry really is on it’s last legs.