London for film, TV, animation, VFX and digital streaming

St Paul's Cathedral at night with illuminated Millennium Bridge
St Paul's Cathedral at night with illuminated Millennium Bridge. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
From its long history in filmmaking and TV production, to becoming one of the most recognised centres for visual effects and animation, London is a world leader for the film, video and TV industry.

Here are five reasons why London is a leader in film, TV, animation, VFX and digital streaming:

1. World-class talent

London is a magnet for creative talent and is also nurturing the industry’s next generation of workers.

There were 47,694 jobs in London’s creative sector in 2019 – 75% of which are within creative tech [1]. London is a global centre for learning, with four universities in the global top 40 and several offering digital media and film courses, such as Ravensbourne University London and London Film School.

Through its central London campus, the National Film and Television School offers a selection of top part-time courses, a perfect solution for anyone already involved in the creative industry looking to boost their career.

2. Investment opportunities

Venture capital (VC) funding into companies in the streaming and content production sectors from 2016 to 2021 year-to-date (YTD) was £538.4m (up from £458.7m in the 2016 to 2020 period).

From January to August 2021, London companies in the streaming and content production sectors raised £79.7m in VC funding.

London ranks top among European cities for VC funding, above Stockholm (£427.9m) and Berlin (£332.9m), and fourth among global cities, behind San Francisco (£2.69bn), New York (£2.03bn) and Los Angeles (£1.94bn).

3. A supportive ecosystem

The UK is a world leader in film production, with London accounting for 59.2% of industry establishments and south-east England about 16.2% of all distribution companies.

Operators in film production, post-production, distribution, video downloading and streaming services are mostly located in and around London. Six of the world’s largest film studios have locations in the city: Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, United International Pictures, Paramount and Disney.

Film and high-end TV and animation tax reliefs are also in place to support companies coming to the UK.
London & Partners has been invaluable throughout all stages of establishing our London Studio. From providing local insight that guided our ideas on location, to specialist advice in taxation, immigration, and PR support for our much-anticipated launch event.  
Once established, they have remained at our side as we’ve grown and evolved the London business.
Sue Lyster
Executive in Charge, London Studio, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)

4. Government support

The UK government supports the visual effects (VFX) sector and wider film and television industry, through a combination of production tax incentives and research and development tax reliefs.

Projects eligible under the film, high-end television, video games, children’s television and animation tax reliefs can claim the relevant creative sector tax relief up until the point of abandonment, helping to mitigate costs.

Through the National Lottery fund, the British Film Institute Network collaborates with film organisations and cultural venues in the UK to provide short film and early feature development funding, industry-backed professional development and networking support to producers, writers and directors of all ages. 

5. The next wave

Plans to open Britain's largest TV and films studio in Dagenham, London, in 2023 will further promote the number of operators deciding to produce films in London [2].

The UK’s largest independent virtual production facility, MARS Volume, opened in London in 2021, providing a “technology sandpit” for creative content producers [3].

All four of the video downloading and streaming services industry's major players— Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Sky — have a significant number of operations in London. 

See London's film and digital media facts

Infographic with statistics and figures for London's film and digital scene.


1. CreaTech report 2021

 2. MyLondon


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