What do Rogue One, Beauty and the Beast and Spectre have in common? It may surprise you to know that they were all filmed in the UK. The country's Film Tax Relief has been attracting filmmakers and TV producers from across the world for the last decade: since the tax rebates were introduced in 2007, over £1 billion has been distributed, with the scheme being used more than 1,000 times.
It also helps explain how the UK’s creative industries generate nearly £9.6m per hour. In fact, UK television and film is one of the best performing sectors of the economy, growing by 16.4 per cent in the three months after the EU referendum.
The sector's performance has in turn fuelled a growth in London's lettings market. To maintain privacy and for convenience, producers, directors and actors on longer shoots typically look for short-term accommodation rather than stay in a hotel. Properties in Richmond and Notting Hill are particular favourites due to the ease of access to Shepperton and Pinewood. And if filming runs into the night, there isn’t the hassle of late-night travel.
We have also seen an increase in the number of high-profile individuals in the entertainment industry making the UK their primary residence. After working here for an extended period, they fall in love with the London lifestyle, which can feel more discreet than, say, Los Angeles.
But what are these creative professionals looking for? Actors and actresses tend to have a more personalised style and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to finding a suitable property. Instead it is about understanding the individual's needs and remembering that their private persona is often very different from their public one. Equally, if they are in town for a while they might be bringing their families with them.
Keeping transactions confidential is paramount. This could be by ensuring that non-disclosure agreements are in place or requesting that owners are not present for viewings. Protecting a high-profile client's privacy will also prevent tourists, paparazzi or fans camping outside the property once he or she moves in.