Pinewood Studios given green light to expand London filming facilities
Pinewood Studios has been given a long-awaited green light to expand its filming facilities in London. The Pinewood Studios Development Framework is a GBP200 million plan to build a dozen new sound stages, production offices and workshop space.
The expansion plan was first submitted in 2011 but was vocally opposed by local residents, partly because it involved developing on a nearby greenfield site. A modified plan was again rejected last year, but Pinewood appealed against the decision. A public inquiry was held in November, culminating in today’s approval.
Several US studios and high-profile filmmakers such as Danny Boyle and Ridley Scott have supported the expansion.
“Our project builds on the success of the Government's policy for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage space in the UK,” said Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton.
“As a result of today's green light from the Secretary of State, thousands of much needed new jobs will be created in this growing sector of the economy. We want to begin construction as soon as possible. I'd like to thank colleagues both within and outside the industry, for the tremendous support they have given the project.”
Our project builds on the success of the Government's policy for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage space in the UK.
Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive of Pinewood Shepperton
Earlier this year Pinewood announced plans to open a new studio in Cardiff, which is likely to boost the production industry in Wales. The company is also expanding its international presence, with facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, the Dominican Republic, and a new studio now officially open in Malaysia. Productions currently filming at the London facility include Star Wars: Episode VII and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Elsewhere in London, Elstree Studios has spent the past year creating a new back lot and is consulting with the industry to assess the best use for the space. In the north-west of the city, Leavesden Studios has been subject to an extensive refurbishment since being bought by Warner Bros.
London remains under pressure to deliver production spaces to satisfy the increased demand created by the UK’s boosted filming incentive programme. Film London has been addressing the issue by making available more than a million square feet of warehouses and industrial buildings as adapted production space across the city.
(Images: Pinewood Shepperton)
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