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Shetland Arts’ is pleased to welcome yesterday’s announcement by Chancellor George Osborne on the introduction of a tax incentive for high-budget scripted television.

The Budget boost could have a substantial positive impact for Shetland and other rural locations given the suitability of TV drama for regional production. High budget productions usually run for a number of series investing significant amounts in the local economy, creating jobs and keeping local skills at the cutting edge.

New research carried out by the TV Coalition, which is advised by Wiggin LLP and RSM Tenon, estimates that a targeted tax credit in the UK, similar to that received by the film industry, would generate at least £350 million per year as a result of high-budget scripted production relocating to the UK, creating thousands of jobs and keeping British skills world-leading in a highly competitive economy.

Gwilym Gibbons, Director of Shetland Arts, said: This new tax incentive might just tip the balance when it comes to production companies choosing to use a stunning dramatic location like Shetland. The incentive targets high budget drama of the kind that Shetland is keen to attract. Given our location we have a need to attract high budget productions that can balance the relatively small additional cost of shooting here against the additional high value our landscapes and seascapes bring to the production. Shetland also has new facilities like Mareel and local talent and expertise that makes Shetland a very attractive place to set a new TV drama.”

He added: “Shetland Arts’ new Community Interest Company adds a further unique aspect. Shetland Arts IP CIC is the only community interest company in the UK dedicated to supporting and investing in intellectual property like film and TV production. Our aim is to attract investment into film and TV work in the isles while securing training and film development opportunities for local people.”

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