Peter Bazalgette – tax breaks worth £120m

Arts Council England chair Peter Bazalgette. Photo: Philippa Gedge
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Tax breaks for the theatre industry to be introduced this autumn could bring in £100 million for commercial theatre and £20 million for touring productions in coming years, Arts Council England’s chair PeterBazalgette has said.

He said the initiative was a “highly significant move” from the government, whose film tax credit scheme has far exceeded original estimations that it would bring in £60 million investment a year, with the figure estimated to be worth £260 million annually. “Think about if that transferred to theatre,” Bazalgette said.

In his Budget in March, chancellor George Osborne confirmed producers of touring shows would be able to claim 25% tax relief, while other productions would be eligible for a 20% tax credit.

Speaking at UK Theatre’s annual meeting this week, Bazalgette said the extension of the credits to the theatre sector represented the emergence of a coherent policy for the creative industries as a whole.

“If we seize the opportunity, it’s going to be highly significant within the context of the creative industries because there is already a tax credit for film, TV dramas and computer games. Now we need more coherent policies in other areas,” he added.