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Netflix is continuing the rapid expansion of its presence in the U.K., signing a major deal with yet another British studio that has been a home for the some of the biggest films in recent years, including titles from James Bond, Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises.
The streamer said on Monday that it had signed a long-term agreement with Aviva Investors to “operate and significantly expand” the production facility of Longcross Studios in Surrey, outside of London. According to Aviva Investors, part of U.K.-based insurance giant Aviva, the Netflix deal is expected to “significantly increase the breadth and calibre of production facilities” at the site.
Built on a former Minister of Defence facility and first opened in 2006, Longcross is spread over 72 acres and features five sound stages ranging from 8,000 to 42,000 square feet. Recent films to shoot there include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Aladdin, The King’s Man, The Gentleman, Death on the Nile, Doctor Strange and Skyfall.
Longcross now joins Shepperton Studios, where Netflix took out a long-term lease in 2019 (the same year that Disney signed a major deal to occupy most of Pinewood Studios).
In announcing the Longcross deal, Netflix touted its business in the U.K., which is easily its biggest production hub outside the North America, and reconfirmed its plans to spend in excess of $1 billion this year on 60 productions, including the likes of Sex Education, The Witcher and Bridgerton, alongside new titles including Anatomy of a Scandal, Man vs Bee, Stay Close and Heartstopper.
“We are delighted to announce the expansion of our production presence in the U.K.,” said Anna Mallett, vp, physical production, EMEA/U.K. at Netflix. “The new lease at Longcross highlights our commitment to investing in the U.K. creative industry and will provide a wealth of opportunities and production jobs, from entry level to heads of department. We’re excited to work with some of the best storytellers in the business to create amazing new films and series for our members.”
As part of the announcement, Aviva Investors has also acquired the remaining stake in Longcross, purchased from joint venture partner Crest Nicholson, for £45 million ($62 million), ramping up its own involvement in the U.K.’s ongoing studio boom.
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