The decision to film a new Star Wars standalone movie in the U.K. turns out to be a win-win situation for the country and the studios producing the films.
George Osborne, U.K.’s chancellor of the exchequer, hailed the decision to film the standalone movie from the mega-hit franchise in the U.K., citing the country’s tax breaks as impetus for the decision.
The chancellor and U.K. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid visited Pinewood Studios on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, where the new standalone film will be made. There they met Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams.
Under tax breaks introduced by Osborne, studios benefit from a 25% tax relief on the first £20 million (roughly $33.5 million) of qualifying expenditure and 20% after that.
Because of the tax break, investment in UK-based film production in 2013 was over £1 billion (roughly $1.7 billion) – an increase of 14% over the previous year.
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“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,” said Osborne.
“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.”
Kennedy also hailed the decision and praised the U.K. crew on the Episode VII film, which is currently filming in the U.K.
“The UK crew that we’re working with on Star Wars: Episode VII is incredible,” she said. “They’re among the most gifted and passionate when it comes to film and storytelling. Star Wars couldn’t be in better hands.”
“This is great news for the UK and is further proof of the world-leading position of the UK film industry,” said Javid. “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.”
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