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14 August, 2021 - 23:02 By Tony Quested

Over 4,500 jobs to be created at Sunset Studios in Broxbourne

Wall Street duo Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties are investing more than £700 million in new film, TV and digital productions studio facilities in Hertfordshire – a move that will create more than 4,500 jobs for the county.

The proposed development in Broxbourne is also expected to contribute £300m a year to the local economy and will become one of the UK’s largest production locations.

Funds managed by Blackstone Real Estate Partners and Hudson Pacific Properties acquired a 91-acre site through a joint venture for £120m. The development will be the partners’ first expansion of their Sunset Studios platform outside of the US.

The proposed scheme, subject to planning permission, would transform the site into one of the largest world-class film and television studio campuses. This transaction is a continuation of Blackstone’s existing joint venture with Hudson Pacific, a leading Los Angeles-based office and studio owner and operator. 

Together, the companies own a media portfolio that totals 3.5 million square feet, including 35 active sound stages and on-site creative offices as well as development rights.Sunset Studios has hosted some of the biggest small and big screen hits including When Harry Met Sally and La La Land as well as numerous Academy Award winning films.

James Seppala, head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, said: “We are excited to expand our partnership with Hudson Pacific into the UK, and intend to deliver a world-class studio facility that will help ensure that the UK continues to be a premier destination for content production globally.

“This is a continuation of our thematic investment focus and long-term conviction in media, entertainment and content creation.”

Victor Coleman, chairman and CEO of Hudson Pacific, added: “We are thrilled to expand our Sunset Studios platform in the UK, a global hub for film and television production. 

“With our expertise developing and operating state-of-the-art media campuses and Blackstone’s resources and existing market presence, we are confident this facility will be in high demand from leading content creators.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the investment was excellent news for the UK’s film and TV industry, pumping hundreds of millions of pounds into the local economy and creating thousands of jobs for the people of Hertfordshire. 

He said: “The creative industries are at the heart of our plans to build back better. This will be a hub for both UK and international productions, showcasing home-grown talent on the global stage.”

Culture chief Oliver Dowden added: “This new studio is yet another vote of confidence in the UK’s booming film and TV industry. Through the British Film Commission, we’re supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the UK – boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or bingeworthy box set.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Artist’s impression of the Broxbourne development (Photo: Business Wire).

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