Shepperton Studios, a part of the Pinewood Studios Group, has been a leading destination for the makers of film, television and commercials since opening its doors as a film studio in 1932.
A planning application has been lodged with Spelthorne Borough Council seeking consent for the £500 million private sector development project. This will deliver an increase in stage space of around 465,000 sq ft and associated support facilities. The development will bring the studio up to the scale and world-class standard of its sister-facility, Pinewood Studios.
The scheme is of national importance, and follows on from the Government’s ambition to double the scale of film and high-end television production revenue to £4bn by 2025. The Shepperton and Pinewood Studios are believed to be vital facilities, if the UK is to achieve this target.
The Director of Shepperton Studios Andrew M. Smith said that:
“The UK is currently missing out on a significant number of international films because of a shortage of sound stages. The British Film Institute and British Film Commission have been calling for more stage space to reverse this trend and the increased capacity proposed at Shepperton Studios will meet head on the need for additional purpose-built sound stages to accommodate blockbuster size movies”
The expansion will secure the future of more than 1,500 direct jobs currently based in Spelthorne and maintain the current contribution to the local economy of £181 million Gross Value Added (GVA). Over the construction period, 837 jobs per year will be created, including potential for more than 200 jobs in the borough. On completion, Shepperton Studios is expected to boost productivity within the local economy to a total of £322 million (GVA) and will create and sustain a total of 2,796 jobs.
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive, of British Film Commission and Film London commented:
“Inward investment from the production of major feature film and high-end TV drama reached record levels in the UK in 2017. International feature films spent £1.69bn in the UK – the highest figure since records began, and a 23% increase on 2016. However, the UK’s increased popularity as a filming destination means that a significant increase in studio capacity is now more essential than ever.
“Additional purpose-built studio space, together with an ongoing focus on skills development, is now crucial in order for us to continue to compete for major multi-million-dollar feature film and TV projects which have such a hugely positive impact on investment, employment, and tax revenue for both local economies and for UK plc.” said Wootton.
Shepperton Studios will work with Spelthorne Borough Council as it assesses and determines the planning application.
The Shepperton facility has grown up with the film industry over the last 80 years and has seen over 1000 films created at the site including The African Queen, Oliver! 2001: A Space Odyssey, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Billy Elliot and more recently Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Christopher Robin and Mary Poppins Returns.