The UK is nothing less than a cultural powerhouse. Whether you’re watching Mission Impossible or Amazon’s Rings of Power, the chances are some of the video production services were completed in the UK… and the industry has gone from strength to strength.

It’s no longer just James Bond that’s filmed in the UK. In fact, Great Britain is increasingly Hollywood’s favourite location to film outside the US.

The UK film industry is primed for success with stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, film studios, a wealth of talented industry professionals (not just limited to video production companies in London!). In 2022, it led Europe as the premier Entertainment and Media market, netting £97 billion in revenue.

In our latest report, we’ve taken a deep dive in to the headline UK Film Industry Statistics.

  • Total spending on film production in the UK in 2022 was £1.97 billion.
  • Approximately 16,000 companies were involved in film and video production, or film video and television video editing and post-production in 2020.
  • In 2020, the UK film industry supported 86,000 jobs, of which 75% worked in movie production and distribution.
  • The film, television, and video sectors contributed £12.6 billion to the UK economy in 2019, representing an increase of 35% since 2014.
  • In 2019, the UK produced 281 feature films; in terms of genre, between 2018 and 2020, the UK produced 140 dramas, 127 documentaries, and 84 comedies.
Film Industry Statistics UK

How Many Film & Video Production Companies Are There In the UK?


From small independent studios to large multinational corporations, the UK is home to a vast number of film and video production companies. According to Statista, 16,240 companies were involved in film production, video production, or film video and television post-production in 2020, a 4.3% increase from the previous year.

While London is the prime location for the majority of these companies, other significant production hubs include Manchester, Bristol, and Glasgow. Supported by regional governments, these locations boast a highly skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure, and attractive tax incentives.

Manchester, in particular, is a thriving creative hub. Screen Manchester is the film office Manchester City Council runs to accommodate high-end TV, feature film, and commercial productions and offers world-class facilities like Space Studios and The Sharp Project. Bristol, meanwhile, is esteemed in UK television, being renowned for shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Broadchurch.

  • Most film and video production companies in London and throughout the UK are small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • The UK film industry is concentrated in London and the Southeast, where over half of all production occurs.
  • Many UK film production companies have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing remote working and filming protocols to ensure the safety of cast and crew.
  • The UK government has implemented various tax incentives to encourage film production in the country, such as the Film Tax Relief scheme: companies can claim up to 25% of their budget as a payable cash rebate.
  • UK film and video production companies have faced increased competition from international markets, particularly from the US and China, which have more prominent film industries and greater resources.
  • The popularity of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has also affected the UK film industry, with an increasing trend towards producing streaming content.

The diversity of the UK film industry is obvious from the variety of production companies currently operating. From small independent studios producing low-budget films to large multinational corporations investing in blockbuster movies, there is a place for all types of companies within the UK film industry. Many credit the industry’s diversity for its resilience, allowing it to bounce back from COVID-19, and help the UK remain a top destination for film and TV production worldwide.

How Many Films Are Produced in the UK Each Year?


The UK has a long history of producing high-quality films that have gained global recognition. In 2021, there were 36 domestic UK and inward investment productions, including Pinocchio, Matilda: The Musical, Persuasion, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

However, that doesn’t take in the totality of the industry’s production. In 2020 alone, the UK produced 134 feature films, a drop from 281 the previous year due to coronavirus restrictions. In terms of genre, between 2018 and 2020, the UK produced 140 dramas, 127 documentaries, and 84 comedies. Other genres, such as action, sci-fi, and romance, also had a notable presence in the UK film industry.

The UK film industry successfully produces films that garner critical acclaim and commercial success both domestically and internationally. In 2021, UK-produced films grossed a total of £3.6 billion at the box office (the industry peaked at 10.3 billion in 2019), with the top-grossing films being:

  • “F9: The Fast Saga” with a global box office revenue of $628.1 million
  • “No Time to Die” with a global box office revenue of $625.7 million
  • “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” with a global box office revenue of $427.8 million.

In addition, the number of films produced in the UK has steadily increased over the years. In 2022, the total number of films going into production in the UK was 220, 11 more than in 2021. From blockbusters like Mission Impossible 7 and Fast X to more independent films, the industry is continuing to soar.

How Much is Spent on Film Production in the UK?


According to the British Film Institute (BFI), the total spending on film production in the UK in 2022 was £1.97 billion – almost a quarter higher than in 2021. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the industry, under government support, has rebounded exceptionally well.

It is worth noting that film production spending in the UK has been steadily increasing over the past decade. However, spending on domestic UK features fell from £253 million in 2020 to £173.6 million in 2021 – a 31% decrease.

In part, the fall may be attributed to a rise in inward investment, with the UK’s attractive tax incentives, diverse locations, and talented crew and cast members a major pull factor. Indeed, the majority of spending on UK film production comes from inward investment films (£1.74 billion), accounting for nearly 90% of the total UK spend. US studios, in particular, footed £1.36 billion of the total, demonstrating the UK’s growing reputation as a world-class production hub.

Little wonder the government continues to support the industry. Year after year, it provides a significant boost to the country’s economy and soft power while also delivering employment opportunities for tens of thousands of people. The government’s tax relief scheme for film production was instrumental in appealing to international production companies, further boosting the industry’s economic impact.

How Much is the Film Industry Worth to the UK Economy?


The UK film industry is a significant contributor to the country’s economy. According to the British Film Institute (BFI), the film, television, and video sectors contributed £12.6 billion to the UK economy in 2019, representing an increase of 35% since 2014. This figure includes direct and indirect contributions, such as spending on production, distribution, and exhibition, as well as the industry’s impact on tourism, merchandise sales, and employment.

  • The UK film industry generated £3 billion in inward investment in 2019.
  • In 2020, the UK film industry supported a total of 86,000 jobs, of which 75% worked in movie production and distribution.
  • Film tourism in the UK is growing, with films and TV shows such as Harry Potter and Downton Abbey bringing in millions of visitors annually. In Scotland alone, 656,000 overnight screen tourists were reported in 2019.
  • Two-thirds of people who previously visited the UK said seeing British locations and landmarks in film or TV influenced their decision.
  • The UK is a leading producer of visual effects (VFX) for film and TV, with VFX companies generating £1.7 billion in revenue in 2019.
  • The UK is the second-largest exporter of television programming and the fourth-largest exporter of film content globally.

UK Film Industry Growth Rate


The UK film industry has seen steady growth over the past few years, with many positive indicators pointing towards continued expansion.

According to a report from PwC, the UK’s entertainment and media sector is set to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4% between 2022 and 2026. However, a closer look at the film industry has led some to predict the UK film industry revenue would climb nearly 90% between 2020 and 2025 – reclaiming any ground lost by the pandemic.

Moreover, while the pandemic did cause significant disruption, with many productions delayed or cancelled and cinema closures affecting box office revenues, the industry has already adapted to new distribution models, such as streaming services, or seen cinema numbers begin to rise.

The UK government’s continued investment and tax incentives help to foster a positive environment for film studios. The Global Screen Fund of $9.8 million, for example is just one of many steps being taken to expand the UK’s reach and soft power.

In one example of tremendous inward investment, Amazon Studios recently spent £700 million constructing new studios in Maidenhead as part of its Lord of the Rings-based series. Alongside productions like The Batman II, the UK film industry’s greatest days are ahead.