Aardman Released Official Statement About Reports of Moving Overseas

Contrary to some reports in the media at the moment Aardman is not moving overseas! If we are not able to secure government support for our industry we will have to consider putting some of our production overseas for some of our future TV productions in order to take advantage of the government support that some of our overseas competitors enjoy. Aardman remains committed to Bristol and to the UK!

The issue surfaced in the media because of the publication of a report by an alliance of British Animation producers entitled ‘Securing The Future of UK Animation’.

Briefly the report puts forward the case that the UK animation Industry, that was until recently very successful,  is now in crisis. Subsidies and government support for the animation industries of Ireland, Canada, France, Benelux, much of South-East Europe, Australia, Germany and Singapore, to name but a few, have distorted the market for kids’ animation in particular and put the UK at a huge disadvantage.

The report suggests that a tax credit along the lines of the current and very successful film tax credit should be put in place for UK TV Animation producers to level the playing field. There would be a net benefit to the UK economy of introducing a tax credit — animation is so labour intensive that by keeping work in the UK the revenue from National Insurance, personal taxation and corporation tax would be greater than the cost of the Tax Credit.
The full report can be downloaded from here

A piece appeared in Broadcast Magazine (subscription required) summarising the issues. The article can also be read on the authors’ blog here

The story started to spread more widely after the interview in ‘The World This Weekend’ on Radio 4 which can be heard here (starts after about 22mins 30secs)

This then got picked up by the BBC’s website, putting the Tax credits story on the BBC news homepage.

As you will see, the headline the BBC chose for it’s website is probably what started the ‘Aardman Is Re-locating Overseas’ stories  which is not what has been said. Aardman is not planning to move any of our current TV productions overseas and when we even consider it as an option for future productions it is always our very last preference. It would be rendered unnecessary if we could secure a tax credit like many of our overseas competitors.

What we want to be able to do is make British shows here in Bristol, we just need a tax credit to level the playing field with our overseas competitors to help us to do so. We are a British, Bristol-based company and proud to be so!