Animation UK and the newly formed UK Screen Alliance joined Aardman Animations on Tuesday in celebration of the iconic Bristol-based studio’s 40 year anniversary at a reception hosted by the Right Honorable Matthew Hancock MP at No. 10 Downing Street. Hancock serves as the Minister of State for Digital and Culture.
“The creative industries are a great success story for the UK, contributing a staggering £84 billion a year to our economy and supporting 1.9 million jobs. British animation plays a central part in that success, and is renowned all over the world for its innovation and distinctive humor,” said Hancock. “I look forward to working with the UK Screen Alliance to ensure the ongoing strength of our screen industries, and am pleased we have recognised Aardman’s contribution to animation with this event at Downing Street.”
Aardman co-founders David Sproxton and Peter Lord said: “It was extremely generous of Matt Hancock and No. 10 to host a celebration of British animation and Aardman’s 40th anniversary. Those gathered at No. 10 represented the many forms of animation produced in the UK, including feature films, games, TV series, commercials and many other forms of animated content. It highlighted the range and depth of talent the UK has in the sector.”
The animation industry is worth an estimated £1.5 billion pounds a year to the UK economy and attracts £300 million of inward investment a year. The children’s animation business alone has doubled in size since the introduction of the Animation Tax Credit in 2013, lobbied for by Animation UK. Spanning Aardman’s classic claymation, the FX animation of Paddington, L&M juggernaut Peppa Pig, the handcrafted Clangers and photorealistic Jungle Book, animation and related fields touch every corner of entertainment production in the UK.
Animation UK recently announced its strategic union with the UK Screen Association to form the UK Screen Alliance, representing animation, post-production, VFX and other production service businesses and studios.
“With one voice, representing all parts of the animation industry and putting Animation UK on a firmer footing and as part of the new UK Screen Alliance, we can build on our strengths, make sure we take up all opportunities and address any concerns by working closely with all partners including the government and the key funding organisations,” Animation UK Chair and founder Oli Hyatt MBE addressed the gathering.
“We need to tackle skill issues, ensure our businesses and production companies are supported and developed, that our talent is curated and that our IP is harnessed. We have a fantastic legacy and we need to shape the future, and I think it is really appropriate to be celebrating with Aardman’s success over the last 40 years tonight and to look to the future with Animation UK and the UK Screen Alliance with the backing from our sector and partners to build and grow that success.”