Production Park
22 May 2023

What tax relief would mean for live industry

Long awaited support for the creative industries is on its way. With tax relief hailed as a huge success for evolving film, TV and games production, will the government set out the same approach in their imminent Sector Vision? And will this extend to live experience?

The creative industries are beginning to get the recognition they deserve. The government has announced a £50m boost to the sector, with £18m dedicated to businesses outside of London, and a commitment to create 1 million extra jobs by 2030. This comes ahead of the Sector Vision setting out the full approach for support, due to be published this summer.

Every mention of the Sector Vision to date talks about the hugely positive impact tax reliefs have had historically. In Creative UK’s Spring Budget Priorities 2023, it notes how they’re a “critical enabler of success”, with impressive stats like, “between 2017-19, the audio-visual sector produced a return on investment of £13.48 billion in gross added value, from UK government tax reliefs for film, TV and games production.” That’s £8.30 for the UK economy, for every £1 of tax relief.

And in a speech given by DCMS Secretary of State Lucy Frazer at the Enders Analysis and Deloitte Media and Telecoms 2023 & Beyond Conference on May 18 2023, she talked about how tax reliefs “have been a huge catalyst for growth for our creative industries.”

These tax reliefs, however, have not previously extended to the live experience industry. As a sub-sector, we slip through the net in receiving this kind of support, even though our work cross-pollinates with so many others across the creative industries network.

In a recent panel about the future of live industry at entertainment tech conference Plasa Leeds, tour manager Jamal Chalabi talked about how “we feed a huge number of industries – record production, film, television… the live industry is an absolute commodity.”

This is something we’re proud of at Production Park – the collaboration that happens at every level and the benefits this has to other creative industries and beyond. It’s what’s known as a ‘Creative Spillover’, defined by the Design Council in their ‘Design Sprint for the Creative Industries Sector Vision’ as “positive ‘knock-on’ effects, where activity in the Creative Industries benefits someone else, but is not directly financially rewarded for doing so.” The report even directly references Production Park as a stand-out example of a Creative Spillover, benefitting musicians, hospitality, local business, innovation, and increased employment.

It's brilliant to see this kind of commendation for what we do – it’s the first step towards government recognition of the specific value of our sub- sector. What needs to happen next is for it to translate into action. If ‘live experience and entertainment’ is not directly referred to in tax relief policies or similar support as outlined in the Sector Vision, then we won’t be eligible.

As creative problem solvers, collaborators and innovators, imagine the potential of what we could achieve with tax relief support – how much further those Creative Spillovers would extend. Think about the wider positive economic impact we’d have if we could attract more of the world’s biggest artists to create, rehearse and produce shows here.

Think about the creative impact too. It would allow us to invest more in research and development, make production more sustainable, make shows more spectacular and reach wider audiences in more engaging and immersive ways.

To find out more about the Creative Industries Sector Vision, head here.

Image credits:
Lead image: Coldplay Music of the Spheres world tour, by TAIT
Secondary image: Hugh Jackman, by TAIT