U.K. Producers Group Fears UK Toon Collapse

U.K. producers group Pact fears the U.K. animation industry teeters on the edge of collapse unless the government invests £50 million ($90 million) over eight years into a rights fund. An initial $10 million is needed to set up the fund, which would eventually sustain itself.

Last year, out of the network time given to animation, only 20% came from U.K. studios, according to research by media consultancy David Graham Associates. As for commercial children's networks the percentage drops to 14. Statistics from SCREEN DIGEST put British toon output of new and re-commissioned animation at 50 hours a year, compared to 270 hours in France, 120 in Spain and 75 in Germany.

Pact says the main factors hurting the U.K. studios are broadcasters paying low license; strong competition from the U.S. and Japan; and difficulties finding full financing when companies in Canada, Germany and France where companies receive public subsidies and tax breaks.

U.K. producers group worries that the decline of animation production could affect other production sectors such as interactive TV, feature film and online/computer games, thus hurting the overall trade balance in the U.K. creative industries.

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