Sky has announced a major boost to the UK creative services sector with a major £3bn film and TV studio investment that will create more than 2,000 jobs.
Sky announced its intention 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.
Major investment in creative sector
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.
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 expect to submit a formal planning application early next year, Sky said.
Sky Studios Elstree will work in close collaboration with Elstree Studios despite both businesses being managed independently of each other.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, said: “Sky Studios Elstree will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of UK and European talent and creativity to the world.
“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.”
Sajida Bijle, Interim Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “Hertsmere Borough Council is delighted by this announcement.
“This presents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our creative industries in Hertsmere and build on our proud film and television heritage in the Borough.
Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General Group, said: “The UK is a great place to invest. 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.”
Roger Morris, Managing Director, Elstree Studios, said: “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.