Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden announces expansion as UK Government launches Creative Industries initiatives
1 July 2014
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden have announced a major expansion of their facilities through the building of three new sound stages. The studio, which already boasts 250,000 sq. ft of filming space, will add a further 35,000 sq. ft stage and two 17,000 sq. ft stages, as well as additional production office space. The expansion is in addition to the 48,400 sq. ft sound stage, 50,000 sq. ft of workshop space and 62,500 sq. ft external tank that the studio built earlier this year.
This latest development signifies a substantial enhancement to capacity for the UK’s state-of-the-art filming facilities, the demand for which was highlighted by the start of production on Monday on Warner Bros.’ Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie and directed by David Yates, who directed the last four instalments of the Harry Potter series at the Hertfordshire-based studios. Tarzan is shooting concurrently with UK Director Joe Wright’s Pan, which began principal photography at Leavesden in April, underlining the UK’s ability to simultaneously house numerous major productions.
Josh Berger CBE, President, Warner Bros. said of the development: “The UK is known for world class creativity and innovation, and some of Warner Bros.’ greatest successes have been produced here with British talent, at the studios we’re continuing to invest in and grow. Today we’re delighted to be reinforcing our commitment to the UK creative industries through the expansion of our studios and the announcement that our highly anticipated Tarzan film will be shooting there.”
UKTI launch Creative Industries Strategy
The announcement came on the same day as the launch of a major government initiative, the UKTI Creative Industries Strategy which aims to double the value of the UK’s creative industries exports, including film and high-end television, to £31 billion by 2020.
Launched at an industry reception hosted by the Prime Minister and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid on Monday evening, the strategy follows other government initiatives which have helped the UK’s creative industries to thrive in recent years. These include generous tax reliefs and an investment of over £20m in skills and training – a move which has further bolstered the UK’s already world-class production talent.
The news of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden’s expansion follows the announcement in June that Pinewood Studios has received planning permission to build over a million sq. ft of new stage space, workshops and production offices.
Speaking about the announcements, Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said: “The UK’s Creative Industries are of huge importance in terms of inward investment, job generation and growth so I welcome UKTI’s new international strategy which demonstrates recognition of this and puts in place a plan for even greater success. It is fantastic news that Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden have announced three new stages – as a global production centre it is vital to address the UK’s growing need for stage space, which adds significant value to the UK’s offer to domestic and international film and television producers.”