U.K.’s Twickenham Studios Set for Revamp in $64 Million Deal

U.K.'s Twickenham Studios Set for Revamp
Jeff Moore

The U.K.’s Twickenham Studios is set for major investment following a £50 million ($64 million) deal that has seen property developer General Projects and urban regeneration specialists The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI) take a 50% stake in the studios.

The stake was acquired from Twickeham Studios owner Sunny Vohra, who will continue as chairman. Vohra holds the remaining 50% stake.

General Projects is working in partnership with the British Airways Pension Fund and helped fund the acquisition of Twickenham Studios.

TCDI and its subsidiary Time + Space Studios said they intend to capitalize on high demand for studio facilities in the U.K. created by streaming giants such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix.

TCDI was founded by former Wimbledon Studios boss Piers Read and producer Jeremy Rainbird.

It said they plan to invest £500 million ($640 million) in a network of film studios across the U.K. to meet demand, and is committed to opening one million square feet of production space by 2024. Their plans also include developing studio spaces in Ashford, Kent and Liverpool.

TCDI said it plans to develop more production facilities at Twickenham, including film stages, flexible workspace for the creative industries as well as a new event and hospitality space.

The sound mix for Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Sam Mendes’ “1917” took place at Twickenham Studios. Films that have used the facilities, production and post-production also include “The Iron Lady,” “War Horse” and “My Week With Marilyn.”

Demand for U.K. studio space has become more acute after Netflix and Disney took long-term leases last year at Shepperton and Pinewood studios respectively.

Read said: “Twickenham Studios is a much-loved studio, a world-renowned heritage brand and a fantastic trading company as well. We have significant capital to develop the estate and upgrade the facilities as we continue to expand our operating studio platform throughout the U.K., including Liverpool and Ashford.”

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “The U.K. screen industries are enjoying an exceptional boom time, and it is crucial that we capitalize on this by continuing to develop our world-class infrastructure and provide access to as much purpose-built studio space as we possibly can. I am therefore delighted by today’s news of this major investment by a U.K. company into U.K. sites, including the expansion of Twickenham Studios with its rich history of attracting filmmakers, bringing benefits to the capital and indeed to the U.K. as a whole.”