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The UK Film Industry Faces a Bright Future

Things are looking up for the UK film industry as the demand for streaming services also fuels the demand for more studio space.

A bright future for UK film industry

With the continued growth of the UK film industry, it is not hard to see how this sector has been able to make a huge impact on the global market. Over the past decade, many different productions have been churned out from British soil and have managed to win awards as well as gain critical acclaim. Between 2006 and 2016, films made in the UK generated more than £11 billion for the economy. The British Film Institute recently revealed that the annual economic impact of film is now valued at close to £3 billion a year – which is over 5% of GDP. The fact of the matter is that the UK film industry has for decades punched above its weight, churning out some of the best sounds and images ever committed to reels. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting and its sequel, and let’s not forget the 007 adventure that started it all, Dr. No. Whenever the Brits have collaborated with the Yanks, the outcomes have also been fantastic; the Harry Potter series along with the Chris Nolan-directed Batman trilogy are a testimony to this fact.


Against all odds

It might seem hard to be fathom the idea that the UK film and TV industry is gearing up for a bright future. After all, the global health crises has just about killed off all cinema business while placing major restrictions on the production of films. If there’s one film industry that hasn’t taken a knock, it’s the streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. More time on the couch has nurtured a demand for more content to consume, and this in turn has shifted the focus of many developers towards this streaming boom. It’s often been said that there’s opportunity in every crises and this notion has been personified by opportunistic developers who have started investing hundreds of millions of pounds into the construction of Hollywood-style studios in the United Kingdom. Towards the end of 2020, a £300m deal between Barking and Dagenham council was struck to erect a studio in east London that is predicted to kick off film and TV production by mid-2022.


Vision, ambition & insight

The fact of the matter is that even before the global health crises, the UK was serving as a beacon of high quality film production and only expanding upon its capacity to create quality content. This is why Darren Rodwell, the head of the Barking and Dagenham council, had spent more than 4 years to get the project off the ground. Such ambition clearly displays a level of vision and insight, not demonstrated by many. And while cinema chains as of late have slowly begun to ease up, it hasn’t taken away from the fact that the new studio system instilled by the steaming giants is here to stay and is driving the demand for studio space. Rodwell is not alone in his quest to capitalise on the new investment opportunities brought about by the streaming giants. Other developers are also looking to close deals and cash in on the demand for studio space. Business begets more business; it’s systemic, and thus the opportunities are not limited to developers who want to turn the UK into the new Hollywood, but also by investors looking to buying shares in the industry with regards to the various streaming giants. Netflix is constantly running ads on YouTube enticing regular members of the public to invest in it, and now it looks like everyone is starting to pay attention, not just investors.