Pinewood Studios launches appeal to expand London filming facilities
Pinewood Studios has launched its appeal for authorisation to expand its London filming facilities. The studio wants to begin work on a GBP200 million project that will increase the scope of the facilities currently on offer and enable more productions to shoot simultaneously.
“This is just a simple doubling of the sound stages and production facilities at Pinewood that we think is easier to understand,” explained Pinewood’s Andrew Smith to the Telegraph: “Instead of two major productions running at a time, we’ll be able to have four. At the moment, we’ve got a simple and old-fashioned supply-and-demand problem.
“We just need more capacity. The big Hollywood studios and anyone else you can think of in the film industry is backing this expansion.”
Instead of two major productions running at a time, we’ll be able to have four. At the moment, we’ve got a simple and old-fashioned supply-and-demand problem.
Andrew Smith, Pinewood Studios
Pinewood wants to develop 100 acres of green-belt land adjacent to its existing site. Green belt land is officially designated to remain free of development as a way of preventing urban sprawl. This is the main argument being voiced by a group of local residents and councillors who strongly oppose the expansion plan.
The UK has become one of the most popular production hubs in the world. A combination of generous filming incentives, a skilled crew base and state-of-the-art studio facilities has attracted the likes of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the new Star Wars film to Pinewood for 2014. However, there’s continuing pressure to expand facilities to make sure there’s the space to accommodate everyone.
More productions are retrofitting existing buildings to turn them into studios when no suitable purpose-built facilities are available. The BBC recently filmed its fantasy TV drama Atlantis in a former warehouse supermarket in Chepstow in Wales, while big-budget miniseries Outlander retrofitted an industrial building near Glasgow because Scotland has no large-scale studios.
Pinewood argues that while the land it plans to develop is green belt, it is of no special environmental interest.
“It’s a former landfill next to the hard shoulder of the M25. We are not talking about the Lake District here,” Andrew Smith added.
(Avengers photo: Marvel)
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