Sunset Studios, the Hollywood studio facility that set the stage (literally) for hits such as “La La Land” and “When Harry Met Sally,” is headed to Hertfordshire in the U.K.
Real estate company Hudson Pacific Properties, who own Sunset Studios, have partnered with private equity firm Blackstone Group to create a film, TV and digital production facility in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It will be Hudson Pacific’s first international expansion. Together with Blackstone, they own 35 sound stages and on-site creative offices in the U.S.
The 91-acre site, which cost £120 million ($167 million) is approximately an hour’s drive from Central London, a similar distance from London to Leavesden studios, where the “Harry Potter” and “Batman” franchises have been filmed. The sites will be about 15 miles apart.
Hertfordshire is also home to Elstree Studios, home to hits including “The Crown” and “Star Wars.”
Blackstone and Hudson Pacific’s total investment in the new campus is expected to top £700 million (almost $1 billion), creating over 4,500 jobs for Broxbourne and ploughing over £300 million ($417 million) annually into the local economy.
Although still subject to planning permission, the project has already won the praise of senior U.K. government figures including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
“This investment is excellent news for the U.K.’s film and TV industry, pumping hundreds of millions of pounds into the local economy and creating thousands of jobs for the people of Hertfordshire,” said Johnson. “The creative industries are at the heart of our plans to build back better. This will be a hub for both U.K. and international productions, showcasing home-grown talent on the global stage.”
“This new studio is yet another vote of confidence in the U.K.’s booming film and TV industry,” Dowden added. “Through the British Film Commission, we’re supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the U.K. – boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or bingeworthy box set.”
“We are thrilled to expand our Sunset Studios platform in the U.K., a global hub for film and television production,” said Victor Coleman, chairman and CEO of Hudson Pacific. “With our expertise developing and operating state-of-the-art media campuses and Blackstone’s resources and existing market presence, we are confident this facility will be in high demand from leading content creators. We look forward to working with Broxbourne Council to ensure the project has a meaningful positive impact on the local community.”