Sky: Major new Elstree studio

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Sky is to invest in building a new 32-acre, state-of-the-art TV and film studio at Elstree, just north of London, home to the world-renowned Elstree Studios. The proposed development represents a significant new investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s new owner Comcast and in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal. Legal & General will develop its site and provide financing for the project.

In what the broadcaster describes as a huge boost to Britain’s creative sector, the new Sky Studios Elstree will:

  • lead to the creation of over 2000 new jobs and help fuel the local economy
  • generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK’s creative economy over the first five years of operation, from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers
  • house 14 sound stages and become a new home for the best of British and European creative talent

Subject to planning consent the 32-acre development is expected to open in 2022 and will be able to facilitate the production of several films and TV shows simultaneously, with each of the 14 sound stages covering over 20,000 sq. ft. Once complete, the site will include production offices, a set construction workshop, a screening cinema and state-of-the-art post-production and digital facilities.

Sky is also committed to supporting the next generation of young and diverse creative talent and will use Sky Studios Elstree to build on its existing work.

The creation of Sky Studios Elstree will provide a new home for Britain’s flourishing creative sector and much needed space for Europe’s brightest talent. It will provide significant capacity for Sky Studios to produce more original content in-house, while continuing to work with independent production companies across Europe.

The new studio space will also play host to major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from NBCUniversal Content Studios. It will also have capacity to host productions from third party producers.

Sky Studios Elstree will be situated in the borough of Hertsmere. Legal & General is in the process of finalising a detailed design of the scheme and expects to submit a formal planning application early in 2020.

Sky Studios Elstree will work in close collaboration with Elstree Studios despite both businesses being managed independently of each other.

“Sky Studios Elstree will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of UK and European talent and creativity to the world,” commented Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky. “We know our customers love our award-winning Sky Originals like Chernobyl and our investment in Sky Studios Elstree will enable us to bring more unique stories to more viewers. We are proud to be working with our colleagues at NBCUniversal and Comcast, and our partners Hertsmere Borough Council and L&G to bring this project to life. Together we share a joint vision to create a world-leading production capability that will support the creation of thousands of jobs in the creative sector. We can’t wait to get started.”

“Hertsmere Borough Council is delighted by this announcement,” declared Sajida Bijle, Interim Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council. “This presents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our creative industries in Hertsmere and build on our proud film and television heritage in the Borough. This scheme would bring significant employment opportunities to the region and put Elstree firmly on the global stage, whilst further enhancing our local film tourism. There will be opportunities for people to see the plans and to comment on the proposals once a formal planning application is submitted.”

“The UK is a great place to invest,” added Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General Group. “Growing at twice the speed of the economy as a whole and accounting for over two million jobs, our creative industries are a key component of Britain’s bright future. This investment is a great match for backing our UK pension promises.  Sky, NBCUniversal and Comcast are global leaders in entertainment which will bring the best out of the UK’s amazing pool of talent.  L&G is thrilled to be playing a supporting role in this major production.”

“Sky Studios Elstree will be of immense importance to the UK Film and Television industry – it will not only boost the local economy of Hertsmere and Hertfordshire, but will also have a major impact on the UK’s creative sector as a whole,” said Roger Morris, Managing Director, Elstree Studios. “We are extremely proud that Sky Studios Elstree has chosen to locate near us and we look forward to working closely with them.”


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