On the Monday 1 September 2014 a new theatre tax relief was launched which is estimated to benefit around 250 production companies.  This means that plays, musicals, opera, ballet, dance and circus productions could receive support from the government.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said:

The UK’s theatres make a valuable contribution to our economy and are home to some of the most innovative companies producing exciting and ground breaking new productions.  I want to make sure our theatres continue to thrive and the tax relief I have introduced reinforces the government’s support for this important industry.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid, said:

This is great news. The performing arts are a British success story. They delight audiences, provide jobs and boost the economy.  These tax changes will help spread this success around the country by making it easier for great productions to tour, for the benefit of everybody.

Rachel Tackley, Director of English Touring Theatre and President of UK Theatre, said:

The health of our creative industry relies on modest but sustained investment and the introduction of tax relief for theatre couldn’t be more welcome.  Not only does this put us on a level playing field with film and animation, but it will undoubtedly lead to a significant increase in the production and distribution of new work.

Announced at Autumn Statement 2013, the relief will provide an additional corporation tax deduction, or a payable tax credit, worth up to 25% of qualifying expenditure for touring productions and 20% for all other productions.

The UK theatre sector is a key attraction for tourism, with visiting tourists spending at least £856 million a year on arts and culture and the new tax relief will certainly have a very positive impact and help to boost the industry.