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Pinewood to Open Studios in Wales; Inks $50 million Prod’n Pact

LONDON — Pinewood Shepperton, Europe’s largest provider of stage and studio space, is to open a production facility in South Wales, to be called Pinewood Studio Wales. The move is yet another sign that the U.K. production sector is in good health.

The setting up of the site is part of a exclusive pact Pinewood has inked with the Welsh government to advise on its £30 million ($50.2 million) television and film investment fund.

The deal is another step in Pinewood’s strategy to increase its activity in film financing, following the launch in 2012 of Pinewood Pictures, which provides access to the £25 million ($41.8 million) Isle of Man Treasury Film and Television Fund. Pinewood Pictures’ slate has included period drama “Belle” and Jude Law starrer “Dom Hemingway.”

Under the terms of the pact, Pinewood will receive an annual fee and transaction-based advisory fees for the fund. Pinewood will also be responsible for the promotion and marketing of the new media fund.

As part of the Welsh deal, the government will acquire and fit out the former Energy Center, Wentloog, adjacent to Cardiff Bay. It is intended to create a facility with four stages. Pinewood will enter into a lease for a minimum of five years with the Welsh government for the studio, which will become known as Pinewood Studio Wales. Pinewood will operate the studio and contribute £0.8 million ($1.34 million) over five years for the purchase of equipment.

Ivan Dunleavy, CEO of Pinewood Shepperton, said: “We are delighted to have agreed with the Welsh government to advise it on its television and film funding initiative. This builds on our success with Pinewood Pictures and managing the Isle of Man Treasury Film and Television Fund. Our combined advisory investment funds now total £55 million ($92 million), making them one of the largest investment portals for new British television and film content.

“The new fund together with the new facility will do much to boost the Welsh film and television sector. The fund is also another step forward for creating a sustainable U.K. film and television production center.”

Pinewood Shepperton’s three existing U.K. studio facilities, Pinewood, Shepperton and Teddington, together accommodate 34 stages available for film and television production, three digital HD TV studios at Pinewood, plus a further eight TV studios at Teddington.

The Pinewood Group’s international network of studios includes Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany; Iskandar, Malaysia; the Dominican Republic; Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.; and a joint venture in China.

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