Pinewood consults on new development plans

Pinewood Shepperton has announced a consultation on the future development of Pinewood Studios, a few months after their first set of plans was refused by the Secretary of State.

Eric Pickles turned down Project Pinewood, a plan to redevelop land adjacent to the studio to provide homes amid permanent themed film sets, on ministerial call-in.

Pinewood say certainty as to future development is critical to enable Pinewood Studios to plan for growth, and that without major investment Pinewood Studios cannot remain globally competitive.

The new consultation will consider both the existing studio site and the adjacent land holding, which was the subject of the Project Pinewood scheme.

New studio complexes are being developed around the world, such as Cape Town Studios, Docklands in Melbourne, Russia World Studio and Alvernia Studios, Poland. A current development is Chinawood, a new film making centre outside Tianjin, which has reportedly cost circa £0.5 billion.

Commenting on the future development consultation, Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive said: “Our business again delivered record operating results during 2011, yet   Pinewood and the UK were unable to satisfy the rising demand last year from the audio-visual sector.

“We must respond effectively to the growing demand and compete on an equal footing; otherwise Pinewood will fall behind its international competitors.

“Increasingly producers require the cost efficiencies that come from the co-location of creative skills, production experience and infrastructure for which Pinewood Studios has been renowned.  We are determined to respond to the opportunity to create jobs and growth in this vibrant sector of the UK economy”.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:  “The British film industry is an economic success story. It’s the third largest market in the world in revenue terms with exports over £2bn and a highly skilled workforce of nearly 50,000.

“If Pinewood Studio’s expansion plans take place it will significantly enhance the UK’s ability to succeed in a highly competitive market and ensure that the UK continues to be one of the best destinations in the world for film making.”

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:  “I welcome Pinewood’s vision to help ensure that the UK secures its place a world leader in creativity, technology and innovation.”


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