Pinewood Plans Consultation On Development
Pinewood Shepperton plc has announced plans for a consultation on “the future development of Pinewood Studios with local and national stakeholders and the producers and developers of creative content”.
Explaining the need for a consultation, the company’s management said certainty as to its future development is critical to enable Pinewood Studios to plan for growth. “Without major investment, Pinewood Studios cannot remain globally competitive and respond to the changing needs and ever increasing demands of the screen and digital industries. Such future development will look forward for the next 20 years and will consider the need for stage and studio space, innovation, technology and television broadcast facilities, all designed to support Pinewood Studios' position as a world-leading, digitally connected, hub for the global creative industries.”
The company was recently refused planning permission to extend its existing site at Pinewood. By contrast, “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 £0.5 billion.”
Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive, added: "Our business delivered record operating results during 2011, yet Pinewood and the UK were unable to satisfy the rising demand 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. 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".
While planning permission was refused, Pinewood does have support from the coalition government. Commenting on the plans for a consultation, 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 50,000. If Pinewood Studio's expansion plans take place it will significantly enhance the UK's ability to succeed in a 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 added: "Economically and culturally, British film makes a great contribution and presents a very real opportunity for economic growth. Continued private investment in the industry will help ensure the UK has the necessary skills, infrastructure and capacity to go from strength to strength. I welcome Pinewood's vision to help ensure the UK secures its place a world leader in creativity, technology and innovation."
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