Pinewood and Leavesden bring in the money
Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, have been granted Â£200 million to expand the studios. They have won an appeal after South Bucks District Council (SBDC) rejected their â€˜inappropriateâ€™ plans. The council said they were disappointed in the fact that the government have allowed it to go ahead but perhaps on this occasion the government can see the bigger picture – excuse the pun!
However, the expansion project, which is known as Pinewood Studios Development Framework (PSDF) will double the existing studios by adding 100,000 square metres of new facilities. These include 12 new large stages, workshops and production offices. A spokesperson for Pinewood Studios explained that the expansion will “secure future growth”. He also went on to explain that the decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, “will also address the clear need for additional capacity in the UK.” And it would indeed to great to see some of the production we lost to other countries returning to the UK again, and for some home grown talent to be encouraged.
It’s been a rocky trail; in 2012, Pinewood submitted another plan which included over 1000 homes but this was rejected. They submitted their latest plan in 2013. This was also rejected by the local council and Pinewood submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. As the land nearby is Green belt land, the councils close to the site have always been opposed to the plans made by Pinewood Studios.
Councillor Roger Reed said that although “SBDC have presented extensive and well-informed objections, we must now look forward and recognise the importance of Pinewood and the benefit they can bring to the local and wider economy.”
Leavesden Warner Bros. Studios are also expanding with 3 new sound stages north of Watford.
The studio is set to build a 35,000 ft-squared sound stage and a further two 17,000 ft-squared sound stages at itâ€™s Â£100million site.
The company hopes that this will raise the profile of the UK, and make it seem like an attractive destination, in a bid to get more productions from around the world.
Warner Bros. opened the Leavesden site in 2012 after a Â£100million redevelopment of the site on the Watford and Three Rivers boarder. The studios have been open since 1994 and have filmed international blockbusters such as James Bond: Goldeneye, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and all 8 Harry Potter films.