Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his budget on 15th March that the higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief is to be maintained, meaning it will stay at 45% for non-touring productions and 50% for touring shows.
It was originally thought that, from April 2023, tax relief would be reduced to 30% and 35% respectively, and in 2024 a further reduction to 20% and 25%.
The sector has hailed the government decision as a game-changer for the sector, ensuring that theatres across the UK can continue to make “world-class productions of real ambition”.
Hunt said: “Because our theatres, orchestras and museums do such a brilliant job at attracting tourists to London and the UK, I’ll extend for another two years their current 45% and 50% reliefs.”
This follows a campaign by producers and artistic directors, urging the government to retain the higher level in a bid to secure the future of theatre amid ongoing financial challenges, and is hugely welcomed by commercial producers, entrepreneurial sole traders, micro-businesses and small and medium enterprises that are at the core of the UK’s world-leading theatre scene. It is hoped that this provides a greater incentive to secure investment, develop new productions, create more job opportunities and bring world-class productions to audiences.
Nottingham Playhouse chief executive Stephanie Sirr – who is joint president of UK Theatre – said the scheme was “so needed because it incentivises action not inaction”.
These industries contribute to our local communities and sense of wellbeing and are also key sectors in our economy.