British Film Commission Receives $6 Million to Encourage Studio Investment

Pinewood Studios
Stephen Chung/LNP/REX/Shuttersto

The British Film Commission is set to receive £4.8 million ($6 million) to encourage studio space investment in the U.K. The funding, which will be delivered over three years, is designed to help expand promotion of the U.K. as a destination of choice for studio space investment. The funds were announced as part of the government’s latest budget, revealed Wednesday.

The BFC, which is the U.K. government’s national organization responsible for international film and television production in the U.K., will offer advice to investors and developers and provide targeted support to facilitate increased provision of studio facilities across the U.K.

The U.K. attracted a record £3.04 billion ($3.8 billion) of inward investment from major international productions in 2019, but studio space is increasingly being squeezed. Last July Netflix announced it would be setting up a U.K. film and tv production hub at Shepperton Studios, while in September The Walt Disney Co. announced it had struck a long-term deal with Shepperton’s sister-site Pinewood Studios (pictured), that would take virtually all its stages, backlots and other production accommodation. Sky is planning its own studio space at Elstree.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the BFC, called the funding a “major boost.” The new investment will help the BFC support film and high-end television production throughout the U.K.’s regions and nations and help address industry concerns about the availability of studio space for smaller companies and indies.

“We are one of the most popular and most creative production centers in the world, and the chancellor’s announcement recognizes our significant contribution to the U.K.’s culture and economy,” said the BFI’s newly appointed chief executive Ben Roberts. “This additional funding for the British Film Commission, specifically to unlock the huge potential in creating new production spaces, will benefit the entire industry and create opportunities across the U.K.”

A number of new studio spaces have been proposed throughout the U.K. including in Leeds and Edinburgh.