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Comprehensive study to assess economic impact of UK screen industries

The UK Film Council has announced the first comprehensive study to investigate the contribution and ‘trickle down’ effect of the UK screen industries – including film, television, games and commercials – to the economy.
This ground-breaking study, which will take place over the next six months, will seek to uncover the size, scale and impact of the UK screen industries on each nation and region of the UK. It will look at issues such as the economic benefits brought to different parts of the country by multi-million pound film shoots such as Thunderbirds, Bond and the Harry Potter films, commercials, video games and TV programmes and the consequent ‘trickle down’ effect of such activities on the wider economy.
The study will seek to identify: the absolute economic size of the UK screen industries; the dynamic economic impact of the screen industries, including their national, regional and UK multipliers (production and employment); the strengths and gaps in the value chains of each industry; the degree of overlap and interaction amongst the various screen industries; how the screen industries compare with other industries in the UK in terms of their economic impact/multipliers and the size and characteristics of the international (export/import) links of the screen industries.
Once completed, it will be possible to identify for the first time how great the economic ‘trickle down’ effect is from any given investment in the industry in terms of jobs, turnover and value added, and the extent to which each nation and region benefits.
The study will also look at the strengths and weaknesses of each sector, highlight clusters and sector/geographic relationships and point towards what needs to be done to achieve future development and innovation in the UK’s screen industries.
The UK film and video industries employ around 50,000 people and more than £1.1 billion was spent on film production in the UK last year, an all-time high. 2003 saw 167.3 million visits to the cinema, the second highest annual total for 30 years.
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council said: “This ground-breaking research will uncover the full value that film contributes to our overall economy.”
The study is being conducted on behalf of the UK Film Council, Regional Screen Agencies and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and will be carried out by Cambridge Econometrics, in association with Optima, a partnership between David Graham & Associates and Oliver and Ohlbaum Associates. Cambridge Econometrics is one of the UK’s leading economic modellers and has a particular expertise in regional economic modelling based on the input-ouput approach. Optima has extensive experience in the media industries in both economic research and policy. The study is also being supported by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).
Data for the study will be gathered by surveys of companies and workers in each of the screen industry sectors in every nation and region.
The report is expected to be presented in the autumn.
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