Pinewood Studios granted permission for expansion and new nature reserve
Buckinghamshire Council has approved plans for a 1.4 million sq ft expansion at Pinewood Studios. The investment will deliver 21 new purpose-built sound stages, a backlot filming space, education and training hub and a publicly accessible nature reserve.
This expansion will deliver substantial economic and social benefits for the county and region – creating over 8,000 new jobs and injecting £640 million a year into the UK economy. Once the development is complete, Pinewood Studios will be the biggest studio complex in the world, with a total of 51 purpose-built stages.
The consent allows Pinewood to deliver a 63 acre nature reserve at Alderbourne Farm north of the existing studio site. The publicly accessible reserve will protect existing habitats and enhance local biodiversity, as well as provide new footpaths, thereby creating a community asset.
The approved expansion will directly address the continued growth in demand for production accommodation in the UK.
Pinewood Group Corporate Affairs Director, Andrew M Smith OBE DL, said,
“We’re delighted Buckinghamshire Council has approved our plans for the expansion of Pinewood Studios and new nature reserve at Alderbourne Farm. This development will provide invaluable resources to the British film and TV sector, consolidate Pinewood’s status as the UK’s leading production site, deliver significant benefits to our local community and encourage new talent to join the industry.”
Pinewood Studios submits new planning application for Screen Hub
Pinewood Studios has today submitted a planning application for an expanded Screen Hub scheme of 1.4 million sq ft and a nature reserve to Buckinghamshire Council.
The ‘Pinewood South’ studios scheme would deliver 20 new purpose-built sound stages with workshops, offices and backlots on 82 acres of land to the south of the existing studios. The £800m scheme is estimated to create over 8,000 new jobs and add around £640m p.a. to economic productivity (GVA).
The proposals include an education / training hub intended to be run by the National Film and Television School and a business growth hub supported by Creative UK & Buckinghamshire Business First. Together they form ‘Centre Stage’ which is designed to support skills development and start-ups for the film industry.
A nature reserve of 64 acres on land to the north of the Studios at Alderbourne Farm is proposed to be part of the biodiversity net gains from the development. The site would also deliver a new backlot and workshop complex based on the former farm buildings.
The world-class film and TV studios in Buckinghamshire, home to Disney, Marvel, LucasFilm and the James Bond films, were granted planning permission in April 2022 for a screen industries growth hub known as Screen Hub UK and a film inspired visitor attraction on the same site.
The revised scheme is a result of feedback from Pinewood Group’s customers, the wider industry and local community. It will, in particular, help to address the shortage of studio space in the UK.
The new scheme would bring the total number of purpose-built sound stages at Pinewood to 50 so maintaining the iconic Studios’ position at the heart of the British Film Industry.
Pinewood Studios announces evolution of Screen Hub UK plans at its site in Buckinghamshire
Pinewood Studios is evolving its plans for expansion in Buckinghamshire. The Studios were granted planning permission in April 2022 for a screen industries growth hub known as Screen Hub UK on land to the south of its existing site. That development includes studio buildings, a visitor attraction and education and business growth hubs (known as ‘Centre Stage’).
Pinewood has received feedback from the community, its customers and the market, all of which points towards increasing the amount of studio floorspace in the scheme, while retaining and committing to the delivery of Centre Stage.
A planning application is being prepared for a variation in the scheme which provides more studio space, carries forward Centre Stage and holds the visitor attraction as an option.
A related application is also proposed for an open-air filming space (known as backlot) with supporting workshop buildings, landscaping and associated parking on part of Alderbourne Farm land owned by the Studios. The scheme also includes a proposal for the majority of the land at the farm to be used for the creation of a nature reserve with public access.
Pinewood Studios Chairman Paul Golding said:
“We have listened to the feedback regarding development at Pinewood Studios and the need for further studio space. We are looking at how our plans can evolve to deliver this with improved benefits for the community and our customers. We will invite the local community to share their views with us on the emerging ideas and how all the benefits of the permitted Screen Hub UK scheme can be retained to continue to strengthen UK film and bring much needed jobs, skills and spending as well as local ecological benefits. We hope our planning applications will receive widespread support.”
Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, Adrian Wootton OBE, said:
“The UK Screen industry is booming, generating billions of pounds for the UK economy, and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. The demand for content has never been greater, which in turn is driving the need for additional studio space. I am delighted to welcome today’s announcement. Expansions like this further strengthen the UK’s offer as a destination for world-class film and high-end TV production.”
Pinewood Studios is preparing applications for these changes as a further option to the permitted Screen Hub UK scheme. Consultations with the local community and wider stakeholders will start over the coming weeks.