For now it seems! A while back Aardman and other UK animation studios threatened to take work to other countries because poor tax breaks were making the UK uncompetitive and expensive in the animation industry. However, the new budget introduced yesterday included the much needed breaks which the studio's have been asking for. For now, animation properties should continue to made in the UK. Still, the details remain pretty sketchy. Similar relief has also been announced to the videogame industry which has suffered very badly over the last couple years.
Now we only have to worry about the upcoming OAP uprising!
"Wallace & Gromit will continue to be made in the UK, George Osborne claimed in his budget speech, as he unveiled a film industry-style tax break to encourage development in the animation and video game sectors.
The chancellor's financial incentive will also apply to high-cost dramas, such as Titanic and Downton Abbey, as revealed last week during the prime minister's trip to the US.
Osborne told the Commons it was the policy of the government to keep Wallace & Gromit exactly where they are – a comment that prompted cheers from coalition benches as it was also a dig at Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is sometimes likened to Wallace, the cheese-loving plasticine hero.
Aardman Animations, the Bristol-based independent producer of Wallace & Gromit, has along with other animators been calling for the Treasury to give a tax relief to support UK production, at an estimated direct cost to the exchequer of £17m a year. Animation is a £300m-a-year industry that employs 4,700 people directly.
Miles Bullough, Aardman's head of broadcast and development, who previously said the firm could be forced to leave the UK to cut costs, said the tax credit would be "transformational" for the industry.
He said: "We have seen a dramatic decline on UK television of home-produced animation and we now have a shot a reversing that trend. The credit will create thousands of UK jobs and our research shows that there will be a long-term financial gain for the UK."
British animation has been in decline in recent years as other countries have offered generous subsidies for cartoonists to move abroad, with Bob the Builder now produced in the US, Thomas the Tank Engine in Canada and Noddy in Ireland. The industry believes the result is British pre-school children now see largely foreign-made content."