The tempting tax breaks offered to film studios by Northern Ireland's film and television production companies could create thousands of new jobs and bring major investment to the region, according to financial advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
PWC announced this week that Northern Ireland should argue for further new tax breaks to encourage more investment in the local creative industries sector.
According to the Irish Film & Television News, PWC has pointed to the success of Titanic Studios in Belfast in attracting the successful HBO series 'Game of Thrones' series to the North, noting that the production contributes around $32 million per series to the Northern Ireland economy.
Last year’s Universal Films feature 'Your Highness,’ also shot in Titanic Studios, brought in a further $17 million to Northern Ireland.
Currently the North already offers long-standing tax incentive for film production, but no such tax incentive is offered to TV productions although that is expected to change in next April’s UK budget.
PWC tax partner Martin Fleetwood told the press that targeting tax incentives will make Northern Ireland even more attractive to TV, animation and games production and help compete with the Republic's Section 481 tax break.
Fleetwood said: 'The Irish Film Board’s Section 481 tax break offers a tax incentive of up to 28 per cent of the cost of television, film and animation production in the Republic of Ireland, with a ceiling of $64 million.
'That has helped create a sector valued at over half a billion euro, which attracted production spending in Ireland of more than $291 million alone, in 2010.'
The UK Film Industry sector directly employs 36,000 people and has been largely unaffected by the economic downturn.