Budget boost for TV production welcomed by STV as a hoped-for first step

A PROPOSED tax incentive for the video games industry, animation and what is described as “high-end” television has been welcomed by the chief executive of STV, as a hoped-for first step to all TV productions qualifying for the assistance.

Rob Woodward’s remarks follow yesterday’s Budget, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequor, George Osborne, though it is not yet clear what the incentive will comprise.

He said: “STV has consistently called for incentives to encourage increased production to Scotland and we view the UK Government’s plans to introduce tax breaks for the TV industry as a first positive step forward.

“However, we believe there is an opportunity to extend this further by allowing all TV productions to qualify for similar tax incentives. Scotland is blessed with a world-class creative talent set but we need to ensure that Scotland can compete on an international scale, and this is something we would also be keen to discuss with the Scottish Government.”

Writes Phil Miller, arts correspondent of The Herald: “More than 100 games companies in Scotland, which boost the economy by £30million a year, look set to benefit from a tax credit in the Budget.

“Scotland is ranked third in the list of top games developers locations in Europe, with a cluster of games businesses around Dundee and Tayside employing 2,300 staff and generating a turnover of more than £100million a year.

“The Budget brought in new credits for video games, animination and ‘high end’ TV production – which could benefit large independent television producers such as Shed, which recently moved its TV hit, Waterloo Road, from Rochdale to Greenock.”