By Daniel Hunter

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced new investment in London’s film, TV and animation industries to boost jobs, support home grown talent and attract high-end productions to the capital.

This week, a new tax relief came into effect, operating in the UK for TV and animation production. To make the most of this opportunity, the Mayor is expanding the remit of Film London to bring in £200m worth of additional expenditure through TV and animation production and create 1000 industry jobs. He will invest £2m to broaden Film London’s reach, with £750,000 ear-marked to promote the development of these sectors.

Already enjoying tax relief for film, London is now the third busiest city in the world for film-making after LA and New York. Film London, already working to facilitate major motion pictures shot in the capital, generated £770m in investment over the last four years alone and hopes are running high for the agency’s expansion into high-end TV, such as dramas, mini-series, franchise shows, international co-productions and animations.

Film London has been working with the Mayor since 2003 to deliver production opportunities and has the unique skills and expertise to help TV companies — many small businesses — who lack experience working with tax relief or securing inward investment.

What’s more, with additional funding, the Mayor’s agency can now set its sights on new investment opportunities from markets in US, India, China and South America.

The Mayor today visited Ealing Studios - the longest continuing film studio in the UK - and home to the Downton Abbey set, as well as the pioneering ‘performance capture’ special effects studio Imaginarium.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said: “We are at the dawn of a new golden age of TV production in London. We have an unprecedented opportunity to grow this exciting sector to deliver jobs, produce more world class British drama and, above all, make London the city of choice for TV and animation production. It’s time for London to fulfil its potential as the world leader and employer it’s destined to be in this field. Let’s make sure that all future Downtons are filmed on our turf”.

Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC said: “These are certainly exciting times for television production. The BBC is already a huge supporter of talent in the UK, with Sherlock and Silk shortly due to begin shooting in London. The capital is already one of the most TV-friendly cities in the world and we look forward to continuing to play our part in this vital part of the British broadcasting ecology.”

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