Great Britain

Plans for £700m Hertfordshire film and TV studios with 4,500 jobs

A £700 million film and TV studios facility is set to be built in Hertfordshire and will create more than 4,500 jobs, a US private equity firm has announced.

Global investor Blackstone and real estate giant Hudson Pacific Properties have revealed plans to launch the “centre for film, TV and digital production” in Broxbourne to take on the likes of Warner Bros.

The site will be about 20 miles east of Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden, home to the Harry Potter series.

It is understood the new studio is planned to be larger than other rivals such as Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire where James Bond and Star Wars movies have been filmed.

The development will be the first Sunset Studios operation outside of the US, where the partnership runs four studios.

We’re supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the UK, boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or bingeworthy box set

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden

Blackstone and Hudson Pacific have acquired a 91-acre site, 17 miles north of central London, through a joint venture for £120 million.

The companies said the total investment in the project, which is set to create more than 4,500 permanent jobs, is expected to be in excess of £700 million including the land purchase.

Sunset Studios has hosted major small and big screen hits including When Harry Met Sally, La La Land and numerous Academy Award winning films.

James Seppala, head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, said: “We are excited to expand our partnership with Hudson Pacific into the UK and intend to deliver a world-class studio facility that will help ensure that the UK continues to be a premier destination for content production globally.

“This is a continuation of our thematic investment focus and long-term conviction in media, entertainment and content creation.”

The Sunset Studios sites is set to create at least 4,500 jobs (Blackstone/PA)

Victor Coleman, chairman and chief executive officer of Hudson Pacific, said: “With our expertise developing and operating state-of-the-art media campuses and Blackstone’s resources and existing market presence, we are confident this facility will be in high demand from leading content creators.

“We look forward to working with Broxbourne Council to ensure the project has a meaningful positive impact on the local community.”

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said the investment was “excellent news” for the UK’s film and TV industry.

He said: “The creative industries are at the heart of our plans to build back better. This will be a hub for both UK and international productions, showcasing home-grown talent on the global stage.”

And Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This new studio is yet another vote of confidence in the UK’s booming film and TV industry.

“Through the British Film Commission, we’re supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the UK, boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or bingeworthy box set.”

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