George Osborne has hailed the decision to film another Star Wars movie in the UK starting next year, thanks to his tax breaks for the movie industry.
The Chancellor has visited Pinewood Studios, where the new stand-alone Star Wars film directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Gary Whitta will be made.
Mr Osborne was joined by new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid on the Star Wars: Episode VII film set, where they met Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, and the film’s director, JJ Abrams.
Under tax breaks introduced by Mr Osborne, by choosing the UK films can benefit from 25% tax relief on the first 20m of qualifying expenditure and 20 percent thereafter.
According to the Treasury, investment in UK-based film production in 2013 was over 1bn – an increase of 14% on the previous year.
Film tax relief also helped to attract international filmmakers to the UK, with inward investment reaching over 868m for 2013.
“Lucasfilm and Disney’s decision to shoot the Star Wars standalone movie in the UK is testament to the incredible talent in Britain,” said Mr Osborne.
“This will mean more jobs and more investment. It is great news for people working at Pinewood Studios, from the set designers to the carpenters.
“As Chancellor I have been determined that we back our brilliant creative industries which is why we have invested in skills and training as well as providing tax relief for films, high-end TV, animation, video games and regional theatre.
“The further changes the Government made to the film tax relief at Budget 2014 will support our highly skilled, innovative creative sectors so that they continue to thrive and encourage more films to be made in the UK.”
Kathleen Kennedy said: “The UK crew that we’re working with on Star Wars: Episode VII is incredible. They’re among the most gifted and passionate when it comes to film and storytelling. Star Wars couldn’t be in better hands.”
And Mr Javid quipped: “This is great news for the UK and is further proof of the world-leading position of the UK film industry.
“We have studios, tax incentives and talent, both in front of and behind the camera, which are amongst the very best in the world.
“Given Lucasfilm’s decision to film another Star Wars movie in the UK, it is clear that the Force is strong here.”
11 June 2014 | 12:24 am – Source: orange.co.uk