The report highlighted the significant increase in levels of investment planned in the UK, with the major move coming from content producers now prepared to commit to longer term leases on studio space, such as Netflix at Shepperton and Disney at Pinewood. It also pointed to further studio developments that are in the pipeline, including our new BREEAM excellent design for Shinfield Studios in Reading as a case study, which once complete, will feature 18 new purpose-built sound stages within a development exceeding 1 million sq ft, together with workshops and a flexible contemporary office environment.
Across the UK there is approximately 3.4m sq ft of permanent stage space and somewhere in the region of 1.8-2m sq ft of temporary stage space in play. Looking ahead, there currently is 920,000 sq ft of further permanent stage space committed to be built by 2024, and a potential further development pipeline of 3.6m sq ft under consideration.
Barry Jobling, of built environment consultancy Hoare Lea, explained that “film and TV studios need large, secure internal and external spaces to create content. The key building requirements are stages/studios, workshops, and offices. However, like the best film and TV, it’s not just about the main character; there are also huge amounts of ancillary facilities needed both on and off-site. This means flexible solutions can be created, providing investors with freedom and opportunity for development.”
This development is likely to be spread throughout the UK – whilst there is a high concentration of studios on the west side of London, skirting the M25 from Longcross to Leavesdon – studios are being proposed all over the country. In terms of real estate, film studios are specialist operational properties. The studios themselves are constructed to a specialist design representing a form of warehouse with sound attenuated walls, high eaves heights and the ability to suspend large lighting rigs. They are supported by ancillary workshops used for making the film sets, offices for administering, and project managing a production. Making a film on site will therefore occupy a variety of space for a short-term period ranging from a few days for shooting a commercial to 12 months for a major blockbuster film.
Scott Browrnrigg Director Jason Lebidineuse said “looking at the development cycle for Film and TV studios we should be advocating for carefully-thought through, permanent solutions that are flexible and adaptable for the future. Designed with the circular economy in mind, selecting of site, orientation, materials through best practice.”
Michael Davis of JLL concluded “Film and TV studios are becoming much more recognised as an alternative real estate asset, which can be valued as operational or leased properties depending on the licence or lease structures in place. With increased investment in the sector as a whole, the interest in value of the underlying real estate has become much more high profile. It is great to see studios looking
at the bigger picture and being facilitators of change and regeneration around the UK".
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