The Guardian is reporting that Pinewood may be looking to expand to a third site, and buy 20 acres of land in Dagenham for extra UK production facilities.
The film studio behind the James Bond and Star Wars franchises has expressed interest in building a new site in east London, as the British film industry struggles to accommodate demand for TV and blockbuster shoots.
Pinewood, a cornerstone of the UK’s film and TV production sector, is looking at a 20-acre site in Dagenham after the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced plans for a studio in the east of the capital. The “Made in Dagenham” move comes amid growing evidence of a space squeeze in the film industry, with at least two recent big-budget releases – last year’s Alien and Blade Runner sequels – moving production to other countries because there was no room in the UK.
Pinewood can film two blockbusters at a time at its studio on the outskirts of west London and one at a nearby sister site in Shepperton. It is midway through a £200m expansion to double its size to keep pace with demand.
The UK’s popularity as a filming base is growing so fast – the amount spent on film and TV production rose 11% last year to a record £2.8bn – that Pinewood is understood to have inquired about developing and running the new Dagenham studio.
Paul Golding, chairman of Pinewood, said the studio was looking ahead to its next growth phase. “We have sufficient expansion ability to meet demand for the next three to five years. But we have already identified future expansion opportunities.”
As well as plans for the Pinewood site, which include demolishing disused buildings and creating new facilities, there are proposals to more than quadruple the size of the Shepperton studios from 25 to 125 acres. Dagenham is now potentially being lined up as a third site.
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