Sky To Build Major New 14 Stage TV & Film Studio At Elstree

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03 Dec 19

Sky To Build Major New 14 Stage TV & Film Studio At Elstree

Sky has revealed its intention to build a huge 32-acre, state-of-the-art TV and film studio at Elstree the broadcaster announced today. Sky Studios Elstree is expected to create over 2000 new jobs and £3bn production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years.

Backed by new parent company Comcast, the new Elstree facility is set to become a leading European studio with 14 stages and cutting-edge tech. The proposed development represents a significant new investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s new owner Comcast and in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal. Legal & General will develop its site and provide financing for the project.

“Sky Studios Elstree will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of UK and European talent and creativity to the world,” commented Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky. “We know our customers love our award-winning Sky Originals like Chernobyl and our investment in Sky Studios Elstree will enable us to bring more unique stories to more viewers. We are proud to be working with our colleagues at NBCUniversal and Comcast, and our partners Hertsmere Borough Council and L&G to bring this project to life. Together we share a joint vision to create a world-leading production capability that will support the creation of thousands of jobs in the creative sector. We can’t wait to get started.”

Studio space has become a major issue for productions wishing to shoot in and around London in recent years. Disney recently signed a deal to take over Pinewood Studios for at least the next 10yrs, whilst Netflix signed a long-term lease on Pinewood’s Shepperton Studios. This has caused pressure on the availability of studios across the capital. Whilst there are various new studios planned across the UK, along with a 16 stage expansion at Shepperton outside of the Netflix deal, a new studio at Elstree can only help ease things for productions. Sky also add that their new Elstree facility will work in close collaboration with the existing Elstree Studios despite both businesses being managed independently of each other.

Subject to planning consent the 32-acre development is expected to open in 2022 and will be able to facilitate the production of several films and TV shows simultaneously, with each of the 14 sound stages covering over 20,000 sqft. Once complete, the site will include production offices, a set construction workshop, a screening cinema and state-of-the-art post-production and digital facilities.

“Hertsmere Borough Council is delighted by this announcement,” adds Sajida Bijle, Interim Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council. “This presents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our creative industries in Hertsmere and build on our proud film and television heritage in the Borough. This scheme would bring significant employment opportunities to the region and put Elstree firmly on the global stage, whilst further enhancing our local film tourism. There will be opportunities for people to see the plans and to comment on the proposals once a formal planning application is submitted.”

Sky has made a major investment in original content over the past few years, with shows like ‘Britannia’, ‘Catherine The Great’ and ‘Chernobyl’. Sky Studios plan to produce more original content in-house while continuing to work with independent production companies across Europe. Sky also say they are committed to supporting the next generation of young and diverse creative talent and will use Sky Studios Elstree to build on its existing work.

The new studio space will also play host to major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from NBCUniversal Content Studios. It will also have the capacity to host productions from third-party producers.

“Sky Studios Elstree will be of immense importance to the UK Film and Television industry – it will not only boost the local economy of Hertsmere and Hertfordshire, but will also have a major impact on the UK’s creative sector as a whole,” said Roger Morris, Managing Director, Elstree Studios. “We are extremely proud that Sky Studios Elstree has chosen to locate near us and we look forward to working closely with them.”

Sky Studios Elstree will be situated in the borough of Hertsmere. Legal & General are in the process of finalising a detailed design of the scheme and expect to submit a formal planning application early next year.