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15 July, 2020 - 11:21 By Tony Quested

Green light for Sky’s new state-of-the-art Elstree facility

Sky Studios Elstree, the UK’s new state-of-the-art film and TV studio, has been given the green light to start construction work. 

The joint project between Sky, NBCUniversal and Legal & General is expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs and £3 billion of production spend in the first 5 years, with the facility due to open in 2022.

The development represents a significant investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s owner Comcast  in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal. Legal & General will be financing and developing the scheme at Elstree in Hertfordshire.

Work to clear the site ready for construction begins this month.

Known as the birthplace of Star Wars, some of the most famous films in the world have been produced at Elstree Studios including the Indiana Jones and Star Wars trilogies, Superman, The Shining and Labyrinth

Most recently, Elstree has been home to The Danish Girl, Suffragette, The King’s Speech, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, World War Z, The World’s End and Paddington.

Over the first five years of operation, it is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will generate up to an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK’s creative economy from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers
The final design for Sky Studios Elstree sees 12 sound stages on site, with the ability to merge together and sub-divide multiple sound stages simultaneously, providing flexibility and scalability to accommodate productions of all sizes.

This means that the biggest sound stages on site can now increase to cover 60,000 sq ft if needed, or reduce to much smaller segregated studios, simultaneously providing Sky Studios and NBCUniversal a COVID-19-ready set up for the future. The production facilities and digital suites on site will also be set up to facilitate remote working.

Once operational, the scheme will provide much needed space for the ongoing boom in film and TV production in the UK – attracting the European and international creative community to do their best work in Britain. The total area of the site will cover the equivalent of 17 football pitches.

Sky Studios Elstree will become home to a host of Sky Originals, created by Sky Studios, as well as major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from Universal Studio Group. It will also have capacity to host productions from third party producers.

The construction phase of the build will contribute £230 million to UK GDP in the period 2020 – 2021.

Sky Studios Elstree will lead to the creation of over 2,000 jobs in the local area, including 900 during the construction phase and 1,500 once the studio is operational. The full-time roles will include a significant number of production jobs alongside roles supporting the running of the studio’s operations. 

More broadly, thousands of additional new jobs will be supported in the national supply chain each year, with Sky Studios Elstree helping to fuel the local economy across Hertsmere.

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