Speaking in the Second Reading of the Finance Bill yesterday, Watford MP Richard Harrington called for greater investment in the UK film industry and highlighted the difficulties faced by small businesses in Watford seeking bank loans.
Commenting on proposals in the Bill to amend Film Tax Relief, which encourages investment in UK film and has generated enormous sums of money for the economy since its introduction in 2007, Mr Harrington highlighted “the need for appreciation by this House of the film industry’s economic contribution.” Applauding the successes of Leavesden film studios in Watford and the employment opportunities to be created from Warner Brothers recent acquisition of the site, Mr Harrington argued the necessity for a solid vehicle for venture capital investment in the film industry that would not leave room for tax avoidance.
The Watford MP also used his speech to focus on small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Watford which are struggling to obtain financial loans from banks. Harrington warned the House that it must take notice of the percentage of loan applications that are being rejected, a figure which he said “is never seen.”
On Watford’s film industry, Harrington said:
“I am extremely proud of the contribution that Watford makes to the British film industry through the Leavesden studios, where much of the Harry Potter series was filmed. Continued investment in this country’s film industry will mean greater job opportunities, more money in the national purse and an unrivalled cultural contribution to world cinema.”
On the problems that SMEs currently face in obtaining loans, Harrington said:
“Having built up my own businesses in the past, I know how difficult it can be to get finance; especially in this economic climate.”
“A great number of people in Watford have experienced rejections when applying for a loan, and I am determined to highlight their issues in the Chamber and help them move forward with their business plans.”