Shepperton Studios has had its $640M (£500M) expansion plans approved by the local authorities. The move is a boon for the production sector in the UK with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Disney as well as traditional broadcasters looking for more studio space.
Spelthorne Borough Council’s Planning Committee has granted the Pinewood Group, which oversees the move, planning permission. This comes after Deadline revealed that it had submitted plans in August 2018.
It is expected that the development project will result in a £300M ($386M) annual boost to the UK economy if given final approval. The application will now be referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government for his approval.
The plans will see the development of new studio space, which will include sound stages, offices, workshops, backlots, car parking and additional infrastructure. The increase in stage space and facilities is thought to be around 465,000 square foot and the growth would bring the studio up to the scale and standard of its neighboring sister facility Pinewood Studios, home to the James Bond franchise and a string of Marvel and Disney tentpoles.
With a history dating back to the early 20th Century, Shepperton has housed iconic movies including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and Gravity. More recent productions include Mary Poppins Returns, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Beauty And The Beast and Avengers Age Of Ultron with Disney a frequent collaborator.
Paul Golding, Chairman of Pinewood Group Limited, said, “We are encouraged by this outcome and believe it marks an important step-forward in the strength of Shepperton Studios. With support from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, this decision will allow us to continue our investment in the Studios and brings considerable benefits to the community of Spelthorne. Throughout the evolution of the project we have partnered with residents, businesses and members of the film industry and we thank them for their input and support.”
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive, British Film Commission added, “The UK screen industries make a hugely significant contribution to our economy and are an invaluable part of our creative and cultural global leadership. The decision to support the Studios expansion provides the opportunity to enhance the UK’s offer, attracting even more producers and directors from around the world, whilst maintaining Shepperton’s position at the forefront of the global production facilities market.”