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London has a long history in filmmaking and TV production, being the backdrop to some of the most iconic creations of entertainment media in the world, from the Harry Potter franchise to Paddington and James Bond. On top of its stellar reputation as a film location, the UK capital remains the third largest centre for film production in the world [1] and is one of the most recognised centres for visual effects (VFX) and animation.

Explore what makes London a leader in film, TV, VFX, animation and digital streaming

From the roaring twenties to the modern movie blockbuster, see how the style of film posters have evolved over the last century.

1920s 2024

Investment opportunities

When it comes to major film and high-end television production, the UK is one of the most sought-after countries in the world [2]. The country's deep pools of investment are a large contributor to this, with institutions like the BBC contributing £1.6bn between 2022 and 2023 to the creation of original content [3].

London sits at the heart of the UK's film industry and is a huge beneficiary of this investment. Large international studios like Netflix have invested in the city by expanding their headquarters. Furthermore, Netflix has also invested almost £6bn in UK content over the last four years [4].

The UK capital brought in £745m in venture capital (VC) funding into streaming and content production companies between 2017 and 2022, consolidating London as the leading European city for VC funding [5].

World-class talent

London is a magnet for creative talent, attracting the best and brightest into its workforce, with 720,000 people currently employed in the creative industries sector [6].

The UK capital also nurtures the next generation of talent, with four universities in the global top 40 and several offering digital media and film courses, such as London Film School and Ravensbourne University London [7]. The AKO Storytelling Institute, part of University of the Arts London's new Social Purpose Group, aims to teach creative talent how to make a greater social impact through their work [8].

Royal Holloway, University of London and the National Film & Television School run StoryFutures Academy, a programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with the purpose to maximise the upskilling of the UK creative workforce through creative training and research programmes. The programme specifically focuses on developing the understanding of VFX to propel the UK's immersive storytelling even further [9].

The British Film Institute (BFI) has committed to a new 10-year skills strategy to future-proof continued growth in the UK's film sector by creating new opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds from across the UK [10].

1940s 2024
Territory Studio

A renowned global hub with significant government support; London offers incredible opportunities to film and entertainment companies. The city is a melting pot of creativity and innovation, with a diverse and skilled workforce. Its premier creative scene, educational institutions, and production facilities enable us to thrive.

David Sheldon-Hicks, Founder, Territory Studio

1970s 2024

A supportive ecosystem

London is a world leader in the creation of film and TV, offering access to studios that can host any size production, skilled technicians, world-class actors and leading companies in post-production, virtual production and VFX. The city also hosts many iconic filming locations, musicians and studios for soundtrack recording. In general, the UK capital's creative economy is thriving, having experienced higher than average growth in the last few years and with one out of five jobs in London (1.1m) being within the creative sector [11].

This access to skill, technology and creative space has helped cement London as a key destination for film and TV production on an international stage. Five of the world's largest studios - Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, United International Pictures, Disney Studios and Paramount - have offices in London.

London-based VFX studios have worked on the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Fantastic Beasts franchise and The Martian [12]. London-based Framestore won the Best Visual Effects award at the Oscars for Blade Runner 2049 and Gravity [13]. It recently provided visual effects for Barbie and Wonka [14].

Government support

The UK government is a huge supporter of the VFX sector and wider film and television industry, expecting to see further growth, a rise in employment and adoption of new technologies in coming years. As a result, it aims to boost the sector through a combination of production tax incentives and research and development tax reliefs [15].

To support the production of film and high-end TV (HETV) across the UK, the government will provide £2.1m of new funding next year for the British Film Commission and the British Film Institute Certification Unit, which work to champion the UK production community [16].

A new Audio-Visual Expenditure Credit will replace current film, high-end TV, animation and children's TV tax reliefs from 1 April 2024. This new scheme will make film and high-end TV eligible for a credit rate of 34% and animation and children's TV eligible for a rate of 39% [17].

2000s 2024
Mo-Sys Engineering Ltd

Our work in creating pioneering technologies for film, broadcast, and creative industries is enabled by London's flexible and adaptive environment. The city’s dynamic film industry drives the innovation of new technologies, enabling us to quickly meet industry challenges and continue to help tell remarkable stories.

Michael Geissler, CEO, Mo-Sys Engineering Ltd

2024 2024

The next wave

The UK's entertainment and media market is expected to hit revenues of £100bn by 2027, and London is at the epicentre of that growth [18].

The popularity of streaming services continues amongst UK consumers, with subscription video on demand (SVoD) revenue being forecasted to grow from £3.6bn this year to £4.7bn by 2027 [19].

London, as a major production hub, attracts large international film and HETV productions that lead to an increase of content for streaming services filmed here, including shows like Ted Lasso (Apple TV) and Bridgerton (Netflix) [20]. This further drives the creation of new content within the city, increasing opportunities for companies working in production and postproduction and boosting screen tourism. In 2019, tourists spent an estimated £892.6m in film-related screen tourism in the UK [21].

BBC iPlayer announced it hit a record of 1.6bn streams between April and June 2022 [22]. The historic Royal Opera House has now introduced its own streaming service where viewers can access a catalogue of full-length performances from anywhere [23].

Upcoming construction is scheduled to transform a recycling plant in Kentish Town into a new Creative Quarter that will not only provide hundreds of new homes and thousands of jobs, but will include facilities for live broadcasting, studio filming, postproduction and audience viewing [24].

The MBS Group

As a global capital for film and television, London offers unrivalled access to creative talent and world class facilities. The city’s strengths in arts and creative industries made it the natural choice for the location of Eastbrook Studios. The largest and most-technologically advanced studio campus in the City of London, Eastbrook Studios is a catalyst for further inward investment.

Jason Hariton, Chief Studio & Real Estate Officer, The MBS Group, Hackman Capital Partners

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