Sky to develop major new film and TV studio in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 21:47 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:31 03 December 2019
Sky has announced plans to develop a state-of-the-art film and TV studio in Hertfordshire, potentially creating more than 2,000 new jobs.
The media and entertainment giant wants to build a new TV studio off Rowley Lane in Borehamwood, just a short walk from Elstree Studios.
In a huge boost to Britain's creative sector, the new Sky Studios Elstree will lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs.
Sky Studios Elstree will house 14 stages and cutting-edge tech, and will be made with the backing of Sky's new owner Comcast, and in partnership with sister company NBCUniversal.
Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive at 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."
The proposed development will generate an additional £3billion of production investment in the UK's creative economy over the first five years of operation, from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers.
Mr Darroch added: "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."
Morris Bright, chairman of Elstree Studios and Hertsmere Council leader, tweeted: "I am delighted #Sky has chosen our area for their new Studios.
"With their plans, our existing Elstree Studios & BBC Elstree this will be an extraordinary 21st century media hub. The British Hollywood is back."
The new TV and film studio will further boost the county's economy.
Mark Kemp, Hertfordshire County Council's director of environment and infrastructure, said: "We welcome this announcement from Sky, which is a clear sign of Hertfordshire's continued attractiveness and status as home to the UK's world-class creative media industry.
"Elstree has long been, and continues to be, a world-renowned name in film and television, so this is fantastic news for local people and local jobs."
He added: "This announcement reflects the growth ambitions in Hertfordshire where we are committed to delivering 100,000 jobs by 2031, including high quality local jobs that are crucial to achieving sustainable growth.
"We have some important national leading businesses in Hertfordshire which help contribute £37.5billion a year to the UK economy, a significant net contribution to UK Plc, and we are working hard to make sure the county becomes even more attractive for business.
"This decision confirms the importance of our creative and film industry sector to the UK as a whole."
Subject to planning consent, the 32-acre development just off the A1 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.
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 provide significant capacity for Sky Studios to produce more original content in-house, while continuing to work with independent production companies across Europe.
Sky Studios Elstree will work in close collaboration with the nearby Elstree Studios, despite both businesses being managed independently of each other.
Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, where The Crown and Strictly Come Dancing are made, 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.
"We are extremely proud that Sky Studios Elstree has chosen to locate near us and we look forward to working closely with them."
Sky Studios Elstree will be situated in the borough of Hertsmere, just four miles from the M25 South Mimms Services and five miles from Potters Bar railway station.
Hertmere's interim managing director, Sajida Bijle, 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.
"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."
Legal & General are in the process of finalising a detailed design of the scheme and expect to submit a formal planning application early next year.
Nigel Wilson, chief executive 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.
"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."