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Pinewood submits new £200m expansion plan
PINEWOOD Studios has today submitted a £200m planning application to massively increase the size of its Iver Heath site over the next 15 to 20 years.
Pinewood Shepperton plc said the expansion would create 3,100 new jobs and ‘support’ 8,100 jobs .
The world famous studios have been used to film blockbusters such as the James Bond and Harry Potter films.
An earlier proposal had been rejected by South Buckinghamshire District Council and prompted huge outcry from nearby residents who protested the scheme.
The revised plans will expand the existing site 100,000 sq m of new facilities, including studios and stages, workshops, production offices and streetscapes for filming.
The firm says the plan will allow the studio to “capture increasing international demand for studio facilities” and respond to rising competition from outside the UK.
Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, Pinewood Shepperton plc said: “This is a critical opportunity for the creative industries and particularly for the UK film industry.
“Global demand for filmed entertainment is increasing and the UK remains one of the leading destinations to produce creative content.
“We have the talent and skills and the Government has expressed its commitment to the industry through the various tax reliefs now available.
“Without infrastructure to meet the rising demand, the UK will inevitably turn away business. Pinewood Studios, the UK film industry and UK plc cannot afford to allow this to happen.”
Celebrated film directors Ridley Scott and Danny Boyle, who masterminded the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, have given their support to Pinewood’s plan.
South Bucks District Council refused the previous scheme in 2009 on the basis that the proposals were inappropriate development in the Green Belt. It also cited concerns over the increase in car use that would be caused to access the site.
The earlier proposal had included 1,400 new homes and ‘live-in’ film sets, a primary school as well as retail, community and other buildings and facilities for employment use.
Pinewood Shepperton appealed SBDCs decision, but the plan was ultimately thrown out by secretary of state Eric Pickles in January 2012.
The firm says the new plan, called the Pinewood Studios Development Framework, will:
• provide £194m of private sector infrastructure investment
• support over 8,100 full time jobs
• create some 3,100 net additional jobs
• produce an additional £149m in Gross Value Added (GVA)
• provide an additional contribution to the Exchequer of £36m per annum
• generate an additional £37m per annum in UK exports
For more information on the new plan, click here.