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Foreign Direct Investment: Film and Television

Volume 672: debated on Thursday 5 March 2020

6. What recent assessment she has made of the ability of the UK to attract foreign direct investment in (a) film and (b) television production. (901122)

Foreign investment in film and TV is booming. Just last month, I met representatives of the US’s Blackhall Studios, and they unveiled plans for a major investment in conjunction with Reading University, which should bring £500 million a year in inward investment to the UK. That studio alone is expected to employ 3,000 people and further strengthen the UK industry as a creative and economic triumph.

As everyone knows, Bolton is the new Hollywood. Having appeared in the Netflix show “The Stranger” and in “Top Gear”, which is filming in town today, Bolton has generated more than £200,000 in the past 12 months from being used as a film location. Will the Minister give an indication as to how a US-UK trade deal will benefit Bolton’s creative industries and cement our place as the newest leading media centre in the UK?

Smoothing access to the US through an FTA will help Bolton, and having such an excellent and film-ready advocate for Bolton as my hon. Friend, I look forward to him appearing, perhaps even with a speaking role, in future productions. It is notable that, in the past two years alone, we have seen the BBC, Netflix and Sky all using Bolton as locations for major productions, including “Peaky Blinders”, which I can certainly see him in; the “Last Tango in Halifax”, where he may be a younger love interest; “The Stranger”, although I know he never tries to be; and “Cobra”, which perhaps suggests his action credentials.

Mr Speaker, you should also know that the filming of the new Batman movie has been happening in my constituency in Glasgow.

Is it still the intention of the UK Government not to implement the EU copyright directive because of Brexit? If so, what analysis have they done on what impact that will have on foreign direct investment in film and the creative industries?

Now that we have departed the EU, we are determined to ensure that we remain the leading production hub globally, as we increasingly have been in film, not least thanks to the skill, expertise and beauty of the people and the places, including in the hon. Lady’s constituency.