Members of the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) invested a record £725 million (€907.2 million) in UK television production last year, according to the associations’ 2014 census.

This was the highest level of such investment since COBA’s census started in 2009 and was nearly 50% on the figure of £487 million in that year.

Other key findings of the census, which was sponsored by the British Film Commission and Film London, were:

Investment in new (i.e. first-run) UK programming has risen strongly, up 53% from £387 million in 2009 to £597 million last year.

Investment in programmes made by UK independent TV producers also recorded strong growth, up 18% compared to the previous census.

Multichannel broadcasters have increased their investment in UK news and current affairs to nearly £90 million per annum, up 2.8% per annum since 2011.

The new tax reliefs for high end TV and animation are having a positive effect, attracting production worth £447 million in their first year. This included large scale productions based across the entire UK, including London, the English regions and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Commenting on the results of the census, Dee Forbes, COBA chair and president & MD of Discovery Networks, Western Europe, said: “This is the highest recorded level of investment in UK content from COBA members and demonstrates our commitment to the sector. Our members increased their investment in overall UK television content and recorded particularly strong growth in first-run programmes and commissions from independent producers. Multichannel broadcasters are one of the fastest growing parts of the UK broadcasting sector.”

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, added: “We are delighted to work in association with Coba and its membership to support this report which demonstrates the UK’s growing success in attracting significant international investment through television production. Thanks to our excellent tax reliefs, our world-class talent and infrastructure are welcoming a range of international and domestic production, boosting the economy and creating thousands of jobs.”