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Amazon’s Prime Video, which is already bringing one of the biggest TV shows in history to British shores with the second season of its Lord of the Rings prequel, has underlined its commitment to its U.K. productions by signing a major exclusive lease at one of Britain’s best-known studios, cementing the country’s status as a key battleground in the ongoing streaming wars.
Revealed Wednesday, the company has struck a landmark multimillion dollar deal with the Pinewood Group’s Shepperton Studios that will see it lease a significant section of the historic site’s newly expanded facilities, totaling some 450,000 square feet and comprising nine soundstage, workshops and office accommodation. It is expected to move into the facility in 2023, according to The Guardian, which first reported the news and also claims the lease is for “well over” 10 years.
The deal, Prime Video’s first significant studio grab in the U.K., will see it become a close neighbor of Netflix, which took over a major chunk of Shepperton following a deal made in 2019, the first of several it has signed with facilities across the country. Last year, Netflix renewed its contract, which was expanded to see it double the size of its production space at the Surrey studio, known for films including Alien and Mary Poppins Returns. Disney, it should be noted, has taken on a longterm lease at the original Pinewood Studio.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Pinewood Group as we continue to support, develop and invest in the world-leading UK creative industries,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “Shepperton has long been synonymous with top-tier television and movies, and we’re proud that it will be home to many Prime Video original productions in the years to come.”
“As we continue to grow the number of original series we’re making in the UK, it is critical that these productions support and develop a diverse pipeline of talent,” added Dan Grabiner, head of U.K. originals, Amazon Studios. “We’re excited to be collaborating with Pinewood Group and our production partners to create new opportunities for UK creatives.”
The U.K.’s TV production is continuing to smash records, figures released by the British Film Industry last week showing that in 2021 TV spend was almost double pre-pandemic levels, hitting $5.55 billion. Although initially spurred on by Netflix, Amazon has become a key player, with recent and upcoming productions including Good Omens (season two is currently being shot in Scotland), The Power, The Rig and The Devil’s Hour.
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