Shinfield Studios has received full planning permission from its local council this morning to begin building 18 new sound stages, making it one of the largest film and TV studios in the UK.
The 85,000 square meter media hub will be located in Shinfield, Berkshire, and includes four sound stages that have already been completed, following accelerated planning permission this year.
The stages are now ready for operation, with a Disney production confirmed to start in 2022.
Once completed, Shinfield Studios, part of Blackhall Global Partners, expects to generate total inward investment to the UK economy of approximately £600m each year.
Nick Smith, joint managing director of Shinfield Studios said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential for Shinfield Studios, both as a significant contributor to the thriving UK film and TV industry and for its already proven ability to attract the world’s foremost story tellers and producers. Our goal has been to move rapidly to support our clients who need to secure space from next year. Completing the first four sound stages already has enabled us to get up and running quickly and deliver a state-of-the-art studio space to meet Disney’s needs.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, chief exec of the British Film Commission, said: “The UK has never been more attractive as a film and high-end TV production base. Indeed, the demand for filmed content continues to grow exponentially, so it is critical that we respond by supporting an increase in studios and stage space capacity, in tandem with significant skills development. Shinfield is an important new development, which will help considerably in continuing to draw production and investment to the UK.”
Part of this attraction comes in the tax rebate system that the UK offers. According to data from the British Film Institute, the Financial Times estimated that the total spend on movies and high-end TV is set to top £5bn this year, more than double the total in 2015 and almost six times higher than 2007, when the tax relief was introduced.
Production companies can claim up to 25p from HM Revenue & Customs for every £1 on qualifying expenditure. FT stated, based on BFI figures, that film and high-end TV productions alone have been eligible for about £4.4bn in rebates since 2016 — including about £940m in the first nine months of 2021.