Arts & Culture

UK Budget: Theatre celebrates new permanent tax relief rate

Featured image credit: Manuel Harlan / Grease The Musical

UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a new permanent rate for Theatre Tax Relief of up to 45% in a move welcomed by leaders such as Cameron Mackintosh.

During his Spring Budget, the Chancellor said Theatre Tax Relief would be 40%, with a 45% rate for productions that tour. The decision replaces the planned taper from April 2025 (to 35% and 30% respectively) and a return to the pre-pandemic rate (25%/20%) in 2026.

SOLT and UK Theatre said this new permanent rate “will unlock more and bigger productions”. They added that the move will create more jobs in the theatre sector.

Research from SOLT showed that 83% of respondents said current TTR rates enable greater scale of productions. Some 65% were producing more shows than would be possible at a lower TTR rate.

Eleanor Lloyd, president of Society of London Theatre, said: “Today’s announcement will enable us to unlock further private investment, and result in more and bigger productions. This bolder programming will in turn create more jobs and reach more audiences.

“Making the relief permanent prevents the cliff-edge of the TTR taper, which our members predict would have shrunk the theatre sector by almost a third. TTR is an investment in our world-class theatre sector, which is integral to the UK’s place on the global stage.”

TTR responsible for 15,000 jobs

The SOLT research also found that almost 15,000 jobs were created in the sector as a result of the higher rate. Some 69% cited increased business for suppliers possible because of the higher TTR rate.

Reacting to the announcement, West End impresario Mackintosh said: “The new permanent rate of TTR is a tremendous endorsement of the vital contribution that the theatre makes to the British economy as well as the huge arts industry in this country.

“The current vibrancy of the West End proves this is money well spent and now theatre producers can confidently risk producing exciting new work and hopefully find the next global hits that make British Theatre the envy of the world.”