George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was on hand at the Theatre Royal Brighton today to launch the government’s new theatre tax relief that comes into effect on 1 September.
Speaking at the south coast venue, where English Touring Theatre announced a new production of Arcadia, one of the first shows to benefit from the new incentive, Osborne said: “As part of the government’s long term economic plan, we are backing business and supporting enterprise. The UK’s theatres make a valuable contribution to our economy and are home to some of the most innovative companies producing exciting and groundbreaking new productions. I want to make sure our theatres continue to thrive and the tax relief I have introduced reinforces the government’s support for this important industry. We have successfully introduced tax reliefs to support the creative sectors, such as film, high-end TV, animation and video games. This shows how targeted support can make a real difference in promoting British culture and the way the UK is viewed internationally, and we are building on this with the new theatre tax relief.”
Announced in the 2013 Autumn Statement, the new relief will provide an additional corporation tax deduction, or a payable tax credit, worth up to 25% of qualifying expenditure for touring productions and 20% for all other productions.
It is expected that the relief will benefit around 250 production companies a year staging everything from plays to ballet and musicals to circus.
Commenting on the tax relief, Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said: “The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre Association welcomes the introduction of the tax relief for theatre production from 1 September, and believes that it will provide real help and support to theatres and companies across the country, and help in maintaining the UK’s pre-eminence in theatre globally.”