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17/09/2020

Pinewood Studios launches blockbuster expansion plans

Words: Huw Morris
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The UK’s most famous film studio has unveiled major expansion plans including a blockbuster visitor attraction.

Pinewood Studios, which has hosted the James Bond and Star Wars movie franchises, has revealed plans to expand its current site close to Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire with a £450 million investment into a development named Screen Hub UK.

This will include the Pinewood Studios Experience, a 32,000-square-metre film-inspired attraction.

The Pinewood Group, the studios’ owner, said Screen Hub UK would also include film production facilities with ‘live’ links to the experience, a training and skills hub, a creative industries business growth hub and a green campus. The development is expected to create 3,500 jobs while generating £230 million for the economy and £125 million for the tourist industry each year.

The visitor attraction is likely to feature many of the famous films made or partly shot at the studios in its 84-year history. In recent years, these include: Rocketman, Mary Poppins Returns, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the yet-to-be-released 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die.

Pinewood Group chairman Paul Golding said its plan was in response to the government and the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) recognition of the studios as a “major economic asset”.

The LEP’s local industrial strategy pledged to build its plans around the “future elevation and evolution of our global assets”, which include the studios.

“We have been looking at a visitor experience for some time and feel that now is the right moment to bring it forward,” he added.

“The project will strengthen UK film and bring much-needed jobs and spending.”
Golding said the company hoped its planning application, which is currently being prepared, would “receive widespread support”.

Consultations with the local community and wider stakeholders will begin next week.

Image credit | Shutterstock

 

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