The British Film Institute announced the first projects that will take advantage of tax credits launched earlier this year for high-end TV and animation productions. Among the shows guaranteed to receive the 25 percent tax breaks (that cost $1.56 million or more per hour) are CBeebies Sarah and Duck and stop-motion toon Calamity Island. After receiving a BFI certificate, productions can apply for tax relief on any production spend incurred since April 1. More than 30 guarantees have been issued, but the rest of the projects not immediately named.
“This is another landmark in the government’s continued commitment to supporting the creative industries, a sector that continues to make an important contribution to economic growth and help bolster our position in the global race,” said U.K. creative industries minister Ed Vaizey.
CBeebies recently began airing 10 new episodes of Karrot Animation’s 2D animated preschool series Sarah & Duck, following its hugely successful debut earlier this year. The charming toon centers on an inquisitive little girl and her feathered friend and was co-created by Karrot’s Tim O’Sullivan and Sarah Gomes Harris. The property is also expanding into the licensing world with a DVD from BBC Worldwide, plush toys (PoshPaws) and a series of picture books (Puffin) set to roll out in early 2014. The episodes will also be available on the BBC iPlayer following their TV premieres. The series was also the most popular CBeebies item on the BBC iPlayer this year.
Calamity Island is produced by Famous Flying Films and Mackinnon & Saunders (Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Frankenweenie). Created by Famous’ founder David Johnson (Koala Brothers), the 52 x seven-minute series is set to air in 2014. The puppet-animated series focuses on visual comedy and follows the misadventures of two shipwrecked sailors who are forced to share a tropical island with its inhabitants, which include an annoying penguin.