I bought my first set up...a plastic daylight tank, 10 rolls of film, a dark bag, 2 plastic spools, 1 can of acufine developer, one bag of kodak fixative, and one container of stop-bath for about 100$ US. I don't know if thats a fortune...I had enough chemicals to develop about 30 rolls or so, plus fix 100 or more. so its not like you have to spend a lot after the initial investment.
check out this strand: http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-79780.html
It has lots of helpful UK online links for photosupplies! :) Apug.org is a great resource for information!