Shepperton Studios' $640 Million Expansion Gets Local Council Approval
The expansion would double the developed area of the historic studio just outside of London.
British studio operator Pinewood Group's planned 500 million pound ($644 million) expansion of its historic Shepperton Studios — where recent hits, such as Mary Poppins Returns and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and classics, including Star Wars and Dr. Strangelove, were filmed — has been given the go-ahead by the local council.
The application — which Pinewood has said would secure more than 1,500 jobs in construction and 3,000 at the studio upon completion — will now be referred to the U.K. government for consideration.
While British studio space is currently at a premium, with the country continuing to welcome hundreds of millions of dollars of international productions, opponents had argued that more than doubling the developed area of the 150-acre Shepperton site, just outside of London, would have a detrimental impact on the green belt around London.
“The U.K. screen industries make a hugely significant contribution to our economy and are an invaluable part of our creative and cultural global leadership," said British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton. "The decision to support the Studios expansion provides the opportunity to enhance the U.K.’s offer, attracting even more producers and directors from around the world, whilst maintaining Shepperton’s position at the forefront of the global production facilities market."
The plans will see the development of new studio space, which will include sound stages, offices, workshops, backlots, car parking and additional infrastructure.