17 November 2016
UK Screen Association is the trade body for the Visual FX houses, post-production facilities and film studios and has been representing its member companies since 2004. By joining together, the two organisations will have a stronger voice and greater influence, by making it easier for Government and these key parts of the screen industries to interact and cooperate.
Animation UK will be run by a Council formed under the umbrella Alliance to specifically drive forward animation policy.
Since Animation UK’s inception, the children's animation industry has doubled in size, thanks largely to the Animation Tax Credit, which the group campaigned for and came in to force in early 2013. Thanks to Animation UK and the fantastic work it has done, the industry is now large enough to afford its own professionally run team, to promote, lobby and support this incredible industry.
Above: UK Screen Association and Animation UK announce formation of UK Screen Alliance, at Manimation 2016 in Manchester
The Animation industry is worth an estimated £1.5 billion pounds a year to the UK economy and £250 million of inward investment a year.
It is the beating heart of many of the screen industries, from the wonderful creature and FX animation in the Paddington Bear movie, to Peppa Pig - the $billion a year retail hog. From Aardman’s plasticine characters, to the hand drawn Snowman; from the knitted Clangers to the photo realistic Jungle Book film; from the Compare the Market meerkats adverts, to the wonderful games animation in Monument Valley. Pop videos, education, VR, and of course Oscar winning short films. The UK is a world leader in this genre.
But Animation UK believes this is just the beginning and with proper targeted support, in key agrees, such as inward investment, development, skills, production and distribution/export, the sector can grow rapidly over the coming years.
The facilities and animation sectors have large areas of shared interest. Many of the skills and roles in animation and VFX are identical. The sectors both face the same challenges with globally mobile workforces and have the same commitment to developing fresh talent in order to maintain our place as world leaders. Each group benefits from tax credits and have a keen interest in maximising exports. So the UK Screen Alliance will have joint working groups to develop policies where there are obvious synergies. The efficiencies made by sharing a back office, will enable the employment of extra staff to advance and promote both the animation and facilities remit.
Above (L-R): Helen Brunsdon and Kate O'Connor
We are delighted that Kate O'Connor and Helen Brunsdon will continue to support the work of the Alliance and they will ensure that the Animation sector is represented and the agreed priorities are taken forward.
Chair and founder of Animation UK, Oli Hyatt MBE, will continue to be involved as the group transitions into the new body as a leading figure on the Animation UK Council and on the UK Screen Alliance board of directors. Kate will take on the role of Executive Chair of the Animation UK Council and provide wider support for policy with Helen taking the position of Animation UK Director.
Above (L-R): Oli Hyatt MBE, chair and founder
of Animation UK and Neil Hatton,
chief executive of UK Screen Association
Oli Hyatt said;
“I could not be more proud of what Animation UK has achieved to date, and the work and effort our industry has put in get us to this point. This is a new beginning for the organisation, and partnering with Neil Hatton's team at UK Screen is absolutely the most effective way to drive our industry forwards.”
Neil Hatton, currently chief executive of UK Screen Association will become CEO of the overall UK Screen Alliance and will continue to head up the existing facilities remit. Neil said;
More on UK Screen Alliance
“We are incredibly excited to be joining forces with Animation UK. Oli and I have often found ourselves attending the same meetings, dealing with the same people in government departments and sharing very similar viewpoints on the issues that really matter to the sectors we represent. It makes an enormous amount of sense for us to pool our efforts and resources so that together we can provide more advocacy and benefit for our respective members. This really does feel like the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.”