Film studio Pinewood has announced a £450m expansion, including a blockbuster visitor attraction, which it says could create around 3,500 new jobs.
The announcement, details of which were first reported by Sky News, “comes at a time when the need for investment in economic recovery has never been higher”, the company said.
Pinewood, which has played host to many instalments of the James Bond and Star Wars franchises, will open Screen Hub UK on a 77-acre site next to the existing studio.
It will include a 350,000 sq ft “film-inspired international visitor attraction” called Pinewood Studio Experience.
The investment also includes new film production facilities and an education training and skills site, as well as a “creative industries business growth hub” and a “green campus”.
Pinewood group chairman Paul Golding said: “We have been looking at a visitor experience for some time and feel that now is the right moment to bring it forward.
“The project will strengthen UK film and bring much needed jobs and spending.”
Pinewood said it would start consultation on its planning application for the scheme next week.
Its new visitor attraction is likely to feature many of the most famous films made at the site during its 84-year history.
Among those at least partly shot at Pinewood during the last year have been Rocketman, Mary Poppins Returns, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and the 25th James Bond film, No Time To Die, which is due to be Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007.
The latest instalment of the Jurassic World series is currently filming at the Buckinghamshire studio.
Pinewood’s plans will deliver a huge shot in the arm to a film industry which, like many others, has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Filming across the television and movie sectors has been postponed or cancelled during the last six months, resulting in substantial delays to film releases and in turn dealing a heavy blow to the finances of cinema chains around the world.
Other big investments in UK film production capacity include a state-of-the-art film and TV studio being developed by Sky, the immediate owner of Sky News, at Elstree.