Sundown Studios are being constructed within the UK for Amazon and Netflix
Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Millie Bobby Brown as Elf and Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson in the Netflix original series “Stranger Things”
LONDON – A huge new film studio is slated to be built near London to entice companies like Amazon and Netflix into making more blockbusters in the UK
The development, which requires approval, is funded by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Hudson Pacific Properties.
The companies paid £ 120 million (US $ 167 million) to build 91 hectares in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, which is nearly 20 miles north of the capital. They plan to spend around £ 700 million in total on development.
Blackstone and Hudson Pacific already own a group of studios in California called Sunset Studios.
The new TV and movie “campus” is being hailed as an extension of Sunset Studios, which has three locations across Hollywood. “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was shot at Sunset Studios, as were films like “La La Land”, “Karate Kid” and “Zoolander”.
“We are very excited to expand our Sunset Studios platform in the UK, a global hub for film and television production,” said Victor Coleman, Chairman and CEO of Hudson Pacific, in a statement.
“With our expertise in developing and operating state-of-the-art media campuses and Blackstone’s resources and market presence, we are confident that this facility will be in high demand from leading content creators,” he added.
James Seppala, Head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, said in a statement, “This is a continuation of our thematic investment focus and long-term belief in media, entertainment and content creation.”
The site is expected to be larger than the well-known UK Pinewood Studios, where the James Bond franchise began in the 1960s.
The firms say the facility will create over 4,500 jobs in and around Broxbourne while adding over £ 300 million a year to the local economy. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of our borough,” said Lewis Cocking, chairman of Broxbourne Borough Council.
Great Britain is one of the leading film production markets in the world, but lags behind Hollywood in the US and Bollywood in India. In 2020, spending on film and high-end television production in the UK was £ 2.84 billion, a 21% decrease from 2019 levels, according to the British Film Institute.
British Culture Minister Oliver Dowden praised the new studio as a further “vote of confidence in the booming British film and television industry”.