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First UK producers receive tax break confirmation

SarahandDuckA pair of CBeebies toons and three BBC One dramas are the first UK projects to officially qualify for new television production tax breaks.

The CBeebies series are Karrot Entertainment’s Sarah and Duck (pictured) and Famous Flying Films and Mackinnon & Saunders-produced Calamity Island, while Red Planet Pictures’ crime series By Any Means, Origin Pictures’ three-parter Death Comes to Pemberley and Mammoth Screen mystery mini Remember Me make up the high end dramas.

Tax breaks for animated programmes and high-end dramas of more than £1 million (US$1.5 million) per hour came into force in April, with most working is those genres applying for their latest projects to get relief.

The British Film Institute’s Certification Unit announced the first recipients on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The breaks were designed to support Britain’s creative industries and attract investment from abroad.

Each company can now apply for relief on production costs incurred after April 1.

Alex Jones, production executive at Red Planet Pictures, said: “TV producers are keen to create shows that can compete in the international market and rival films in terms of production values, talent and storytelling.

The tax credits are an important step towards helping ambitious independent production companies like Red Planet close the finance on projects here in Britain without having to leave the country to save money.”

Anna Mansi, head of the BFI Certification Unit added: “It’s been fantastic to see the first certificates issued this week for a host of exciting new UK projects. We want to let producers working across animation and high end television to know the UK is open for business and the BFI’s highly expert team is ready and waiting to take your call.”