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What the Media Industry Wants from the New Labour Government


With the recent landslide election of a Labour government, the UK film and television industry is hoping for new policies to reshape and reinvigorate the industry. Representatives from various sectors of the industry have voiced their desires for comprehensive support and strategic reforms to address current challenges and harness future opportunities.

Addressing Brexit-Induced Harm

Simon Cornwell, CEO and co-founder of The Ink Factory, highlights the financial strain caused by Brexit. The separation from the European Union has necessitated moving significant expenditure abroad to access European incentives, a shift detrimental to UK crews and talent. Cornwell urges the new government to work closely with Europe pragmatically to mitigate economic damage and bolster the industry.

Holistic Investment in Creativity

Anna Higgs, managing director at Casarotto Ramsay & Associates, advocates for a long-term investment approach in the creative sectors. She recalls the early 2000s’ Creative Partnerships initiative as a model, emphasising that substantial public investment in arts and education yields significant direct and indirect economic benefits. Higgs calls for strategic support to ensure the arts remain vibrant and accessible, enhancing the UK’s global creative reputation.

Competitive Tax Credits

Zygi Kamasa, founder and CEO of True Brit Entertainment, underscores the importance of competitive tax incentives. While acknowledging the Conservative government’s support for independent films, Kamasa suggests expanding the tax credit to cover 100% of production spend, matching incentives offered by countries like Italy and Malta. This move would help retain productions in the UK and sustain the domestic film industry.

Support for Cinemas

Phil Clapp, CEO of the UK Cinema Association, emphasises the critical role of cinemas in cultural and economic life. Clapp calls for support in reducing operational costs, re-evaluating the business rates regime, and implementing a reduced VAT on cinema tickets. Such measures would alleviate financial pressures and promote broader access to cultural entertainment.

Strategic Distribution and Marketing Credits

Andy Leyshon, CEO of the Film Distributors’ Association, proposes a targeted expenditure credit for distribution and marketing. This would enhance the reach and impact of UK films, benefiting the entire film ecosystem—from distributors and exhibitors to producers. Leyshon believes this would align with the new government’s vision of national renewal and cultural inclusivity.

Decentralising the Industry

Leo Pearlman, managing partner at Fulwell73, calls for strategic investments to create multiple production hubs outside London. This would ensure sustainable growth across the UK, tapping into regional talent and resources. Pearlman stresses the need for a confident, bullish approach to maintain the UK’s competitive edge in the global market.

Educational Support for Future Talent

Natasha Dack Ojumu of Tigerlily Productions and Jon Wardle of the National Film and Television School stress the need for stronger educational support. They advocate for increased spending on arts education and reforms to the apprenticeship levy. This would ensure a steady pipeline of skilled, diverse talent ready to meet industry demands.

Fair Treatment and Rights for Creatives

Paul Fleming, general secretary of Equity, and Ellie Peers of the Writers Guild of Great Britain call for improved rights and protections for creatives. They emphasise fair pay, union support, and robust copyright protections, especially in light of AI advancements.

Boosting Regional Productions

Mark Herbert, CEO of Warp Films, champions robust support for regional productions. Highlighting the economic and cultural contributions of projects outside London, Herbert calls for policies that unleash the full potential of creative industries across the UK.

In conclusion, the UK’s film and television industry is looking to the new Labour government for strategic, long-term support. From addressing Brexit-related challenges to fostering educational initiatives and competitive incentives, industry leaders believe these steps are crucial for sustaining growth and reinforcing the UK’s status as a global creative powerhouse.


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