New report on economic impact of EU funding on UK audiovisual industry

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While MEDIA Desk UK is celebrating another €14m funding for the UK audiovisual industry from the EU in 2011, we have also published a report detailing the crucial economic impact EU public funding has had on growing audiovisual businesses and sustaining jobs in the UK over the last decade.

400 audiovisual companies in the UK that have benefitted from MEDIA funding over the last decade were asked in a survey to detail the impact the funding had on the growth of their businesses and the international potential of their projects. Results show MEDIA has had a crucial impact on maximising the international market potential of UK projects, growing businesses, and sustaining jobs in the industry.

One respondent said: “We have gone, thanks to MEDIA development funding, from a one- person operation in a back room to a fully-equipped studio with a full-time development team - part financed by MEDIA grants but also because we were able to develop programmes without undue pressure on completing the development process. The result was stronger programmes that have sold all around the world.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 82% of producers who received a MEDIA Development grant felt the funding had been “very effective” or “effective” in improving the quality of the script
  • 80% of producers felt the MEDIA Programme Development grant had been “very effective” or “effective” in helping maximise the international market potential of the project
  • 93% of producers who received MEDIA funding more than once felt it was “very effective” or “effective” in contributing to the sustainability of their overall development activities.

The survey will provide valuable evidence in discussions relating to the future of MEDIA. The results offer important insights into the impact of public funding on SMEs in the audiovisual sector, which will contribute to Europe-wide negotiations, helping the UK Government make an informed decision as part of the consultation on the European Commission’s proposal for the post-2014 successor to the MEDIA and Culture programmes: Creative Europe.

The survey confirms that MEDIA support has been vital for the sustainability and growth of UK’s audiovisual businesses. Comments from respondents include:

“The MEDIA Programme as it currently exists has vastly assisted my company to compete at all levels in Europe and all over the world. Since founding the company 12 years ago we have been involved in over 40 international feature films most of which were supported by MEDIA”.

“I think it’s not too dramatic to say that without MEDIA Development and TV Broadcasting funding our company would not have made any of our shows, which have gone on to great success, and indeed without the lifeline of all those vital MEDIA-funded events we’d probably no longer even be in business.”

Agnieszka Moody, Director of MEDIA Desk UK, said: “As the main point of interest for politicians and decision makers is economic growth, we wanted to be in a position to provide evidence that the MEDIA Programme contributes to the sustainability of the UK’s audiovisual companies, creating jobs and opening international trade opportunities.  In the survey results, overwhelmingly, MEDIA appears as a vital, indispensable supporter of the audiovisual industry in all nations of the UK, making it more competitive and helping its product increase its potential beyond the domestic market.  We’ve always known it at MEDIA Desk UK, but now we have the evidence!”

The full text of the report and a detailed summary can be downloaded from the left-hand panel of this page.

Publication date: 30 Jul 2012

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