×

Shepperton Studios’ $640 Million Expansion Plan Moves Forward

The proposed $640 million expansion of Britain’s iconic Shepperton Studios has taken another step forward. The proposal received local planning approval Tuesday from the Spelthorne Borough Council, despite some objections from area residents.

The Pinewood Group’s £500 million (about $640 million) application to increase Shepperton’s capacity for film and high-end television production now goes to the British government for review. “We are encouraged by this outcome and believe it marks an important step forward in the strength of Shepperton Studios” Paul Golding, chairman of Pinewood Group, said.

Pinewood began a consultation with the local community about the proposed expansion last June before submitting its planning application to the local council in August. The company says that redeveloping Shepperton, which sits on the outskirts of southwest London, would result in an annual £300 million ($387 million) boost to the economy, and create 1,500 jobs during construction and a further 3,000 jobs upon completion.

The council said environmental concerns raised about the expansion were “clearly outweighed by the national economic argument and the support for government policy aims.”

“The U.K. screen industries make a hugely significant contribution to our economy and are an invaluable part of our creative and cultural global leadership,” said Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission. “The decision to support the studios’ expansion provides the opportunity to enhance the U.K.’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.”

Latest figures published by the British Film Institute showed production spend in the U.K. in 2018 hit £1.924 billion ($2.5 billion) from film, high-end TV and animation. Inward investment from 51 films shooting in the U.K. in 2018 accounted for more than £1.6 billion (83%) of that figure, despite decreasing 14% year-on-year.

Pinewood’s plan for Shepperton seeks to increase the studio’s stage space by around 465,000 square feet and add additional support facilities, bringing it in line with the scale and standard of sister facility Pinewood Studios. When the planning application was submitted last August, Andrew M. Smith, director of Shepperton Studios, said the U.K. was “currently missing out on a significant number of international films because of a shortage of sound stages.”

Universal’s “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” are two of the most recent releases to have shot at Shepperton. Shepperton has a long history dating back to 1931 and has housed such classic films as Carol Reed’s “The Third Man,” Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” and Ridley Scott’s “Alien.”

More Artisans

  • Game of Thrones Iceland TV Incentives

    Iceland Offers Productions Majestic Landscapes, Stunning Architecture and a 25% Rebate

    Few places on Earth contain the natural majesty of Iceland. The Nordic island, nestled between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean, holds some of the most breathtaking natural wonders on the planet: the fiery pyrotechnics of live volcanoes, steam curling up from natural hot springs, vertiginous drops from oceanside cliffs and waterfalls cascading into [...]

  • Schitt's Creek Wigs

    'Schitt's Creek': Inside Moira Rose's Iconic Wig Collection

    Moira Rose, the family matriarch of cult classic “Schitt’s Creek,” is known for several things: her pronunciation of the word “bebe,” her love for her TV family (and sometimes Alexis) and her countless vibrant wigs. Played by the always delightful Catherine O’Hara, each episode (and wig) is a joy to witness on screen. “I think [...]

  • Kira Kelly Cinematographer Queen Sugar

    'Queen Sugar' DP on How Ava DuVernay Encourages Creativity on the OWN Series

    Cinematographer Kira Kelly, who earned an Emmy nomination for her work on Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” feels that her time spent on nonfiction projects over the past two decades has improved her ability to cope with the demands of shooting narrative fare.  The scaled-down resources — often just Kelly and maybe a focus puller or a [...]

  • 'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Fashioned 1980s'

    'The Souvenir' Costume Designer Put a Decadent Twist on Opulent ’80s Style

    Set against the backdrop of London’s early-1980s cultural renaissance, British auteur Joanna Hogg’s exquisitely sculpted and critically acclaimed “The Souvenir,” which A24 has been widening in platform release for the past month, follows film student Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) and her gradually destructive romance with the magnetic Anthony (Tom Burke). “We didn’t want a film [...]

  • Legion

    How Production Designer Marco Niro Created a Visual Climax for FX's ‘Legion’

    FX’s “Legion” has always drawn inspiration not only from the Marvel “X-Men” comics on which it is based, but also from the weirder corners of pop culture. When creator Noah Hawley cast “Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens as the lead — David Haller, a mutant whose telepathic powers have been misdiagnosed as mental illness — [...]

  • Luciano Pavarotti

    Ron Howard Turned to Editor Paul Crowder to Make His 'Pavarotti' Documentary Sing

    Ron Howard is fast becoming a noted music documentarian: His 2016 film, “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — the Touring Years,” released by Abramorama in theaters and Hulu on television, was a Grammy winner. His follow-up is “Pavarotti,” a doc about the man who became one of the most successful and beloved opera singers in [...]

  • Lesley Barber Film Composer

    How 'Late Night' Composer Lesley Barber Channeled Paul Shaffer for Talk-Show Theme

    When director Nisha Ganatra started planning “Late Night,” the new Emma Thompson-Mindy Kaling film about a failing late-night network talk show, she knew she’d need a house band and a theme for the program. Her first call was to composer Lesley Barber (“Manchester by the Sea”), with whom she had worked a few years ago on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content