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Surge in lending to tv and film producers lights up prospects for SMEs

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The tv and film production sector is enjoying dramatic growth driven by demand for British content from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, according to Barclays Business Banking. As production companies expand, the number of loans taken by SMEs to fund new tv series such as The Crown has increased by 93 per cent and funding for new films by 37 per cent compared to 2018. Meanwhile revenues at SMEs in the media sector have grown by 11 per cent, well above other sectors. Research for Barclays shows half the population plans to watch Netflix next year and a third plan to watch Amazon Prime whilst spending on digital content and subscriptions is rising.

Matthew Peek, head of SME Anglia at Barclays Business Bankin, said: “Gone are the days when a small group of production companies in central London dominated the market – the biggest growth is happening outside the capital, heralding a new golden age in British tv and film, funded by the big budgets of streaming providers. The weak pound and generous tax relief undoubtedly makes the UK an attractive choice, but it’s also the studio infrastructure and unbelievable talent we have in abundance that’s driving demand. Britain is about to fulfil its potential of becoming the global hub of TV and film.”

Francesca de Lacey, managing director of Norwich-based JMS Group (photo), said: “Not only is this a great time for UK film and TV content producers, but we also see it creating an opportunity for businesses looking to target these users through advertising.”

In the East of England, Warner Bros. has submitted plans for a £13.5 million film studio at Leavesden near Watford and plans have been granted for a £4 million film studio at Bentwaters Parks near Woodbridge in Suffolk. Meanwhile  a £100 million scheme involving a film studio on the Made In Dagenham site in east London has been proposed.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 11 November 2019 09:49 )