Report – Panel 1, Europe: Potential & Pitfalls 10.05-10.45am

Posted on: Thursday 16 November 2017 1:21pm by Helen Dugdale

A discussion about Brexit, what’s known, what’s suspected, what’s feared and where the opportunities lie.


  • It’s about early planning and scenario planning to try and predict the negotiations in Europe. Animation UK is leading the case to increase our tax breaks with key competitors.
  • Creative industries in the UK is worth £87 billion.
  • European culture is much better at putting emphasis on art, culture, and creativity. We have to do a lot of work with schools and getting kids into companies to raise the standard of the talent pool.


Moderator: Kate O’Connor (Animation UK)
Phil Chalk (Factory)
Louise Cornally (Brown Bag)
Phil Dorbee (Jellyfish Pictures)
Tom Van Waveren (Cake/Animation in Europe)

The panel gave their insight and opinions on the following three areas:

Partnerships in Europe

Phil Dobree:
Our biggest concerns are keeping and engaging with European talent.
We’re focused on making and keeping our own IP.
We’ve got to keep the UK making its own content, but also keep using talent across Europe.

Louise Cornally:
It’s all about give, take and compromise this is what will protect the industry.

Phil Chalk:
Overseas broadcasters don’t always see British made content as relevant for their audience as it covers different issues, etc.

Tom Van Waveren:
UK content is EU content! There’s always a way to do something. Don’t create hurdles if they don’t exist.

Skills development and recruitment issues

Phil Dorbee:
We want to make content in the UK. When we do that we make some amazing things. Especially when it’s all in one building and we don’t have the disconnect.

Louise Cornally:
We need to lobby now and put down on paper what we want for the industry.
If we want to hold on to co-production we can work with the government for free movement of people then MPs can take these issues with them to Europe.

Phil Chalk:
Our biggest issue is attracting and retaining talent. We lurch from production to production.
I can now see the next three years with secured work. Three months ago it was very different!
We’re all about the people and valuing our business – it’s hard when at the end of the project you can’t retain your staff.

Kate Connor
Are we being too cynical about the lack of talent?
A new buzz word is Creative Tech.

Discussing money & co-production opportunities

Tom Van Waveren:
We don’t know what we’ll end up with, so we have to presume the worst.

Phil Chalk:
We’ve got to step back. We’ve had two series from Scream Street and Clangers which have had EU funding …if we lose that will get an enhanced Tax Credit?
Right now, it’s an industry founded on 12 commissions out of the UK.

Manimation Blog

Helen Dugdale

About the author

Helen Dugdale

Scribble, Writer/PR Consultant

Helen is founder of Scribble the little, but mighty PR and writing agency based in Altrincham. She has over 18 years experience writing for and promoting events and brands aimed at children and families. Helen has written and created content for children’s books, educational resources, TV and radio and (fun!) corporate literature.… Read more