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Sky Studios Elstree development to create 2,000 jobs

Sky, the parent firm of Sky News, has announced plans to develop a new 32-acre TV and film studio at Elstree in Hertfordshire, creating up to 2,000 jobs.

The company said the proposed new development, beside the current Elstree Studios, represented a “significant new investment in the UK and European creative economy”.

Sky hoped the new facility, with 14 sound stages, would open in 2022 and attract an additional £3bn of production investment over the first five years of operation.

Chernobyl, a new Sky Atlantic series. Pic: Sky Atlantic/ HBO
Image: Sky’s CEO says the new studios will support production of original content like Chernobyl. Pic: Sky Atlantic/ HBO

“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 added.

It did not reveal a cost but said the development had the backing of its new owner, Comcast, and sister firm NBCUniversal – behind top movies such as the Fast & Furious and Despicable Me series.

The project, Sky added, would be part-financed by Legal & General (L&>) which would also develop the site.

The investment follows a tightening of stage space in the UK.

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Rival Disney is to lease a majority of stage space at Pinewood while Sky News revealed in July that Netflix had struck a deal to rent the bulk of Shepperton – owned by Pinewood Group.

An aerial view of Shepperton Studios in Surrey
Image: A majority of Shepperton Studios in Surrey is being leased by Netflix

Sky Studios Elstree “will provide significant capacity for Sky Studios to produce more original content in-house, while continuing to work with independent production companies across Europe”, a statement said.

“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’s group chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said: “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&> 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.”

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