Research Report: The UK Animation Sector – Current Issues and Future Prospects

Posted on: Monday 14 March 2016 11:01am by Rob Doherty

As an introduction to the the Animation Exchange Question Time Panel, Lindsay Watson (CANUK Productions) presented her masters research paper ‘The UK Animation Sector – Current Issues and Future Prospects’

Since 2007 there has been a crisis in funding animation in the UK. There are over 600 studios in UK producing animation and yet at policy level the industry is almost invisible. 

How do you get the money to produce animation, and can we adapt as an industry?

Are there policies that can help and can policy have a positive impact?

A review of a selected policy as an example showed that ‘animation’ as an industry was not even mentioned and this proved the same across other policies reviewed as well. 

None of the policies provided any direct funding for animation and few even had individuals from the animation industry on their panels. Broadcasters are under-delivering on funding for animation, and live-action has a much higher profile.

Can we even afford to produce animation in the UK? 

In the UK the animation industry is perceived as very disparate and slow moving. We need to change that perception, buy raising the profile and showing the industry’s worth. 

An investment fund, as in other countries around the world, is one way. At the moment the model is generally to raise funds slowly for original IP while producing commercial work to fund the day to day.

A public platform for Euro animation would go a long way to help get UK Animation recognised as it’s own sector.

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Rob Doherty 

About the author

Rob Doherty

Festivus, Animation Producer and Consultant

Rob has 20 years experience in the animation industry. He has worked in every format of animation and in many countries around the world, as well as on both sides of the production/broadcast divide; working for ITV, Aardman, Disney, M2 Films, Endemol, Initial Productions, TVC Cartoons, Grand Slamm Children’s Films,… Read more