Hollywood plans to bring £700 million film and TV studios to Hertfordshire

2 August 2021, 07:26 | Updated: 2 August 2021, 10:22

Artist impressions of the proposed development.
Artist impressions of the proposed development. Picture: Sunset Studios

By Emma Soteriou

A Hollywood film and TV studios facility - worth £700 million - is set to arrive in Hertfordshire, creating over 4,500 permanent jobs.

Plans for the "centre for film, TV and digital production" were revealed as part of a joint venture between global investor Blackstone and real estate giant Hudson Pacific Properties.

It will be the first Sunset Studios operation outside of the US, where the partnership already runs four studios.

The 91-acre site - acquired for £120 million - is expected to be larger than other rivals such as Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, where franchises such as Star Wars have been filmed.

It is 17 miles north of central London, in Broxbourne, and 20 miles east of another of its competitors, Warner Bros Studio, which is home to the Harry Potter series.

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The partnership already runs four studios in the US.
The partnership already runs four studios in the US. Picture: Sunset Studios

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the investment was "excellent news" for the UK's film and TV industry.

"The creative industries are at the heart of our plans to build back better," he said.

"This will be a hub for both UK and international productions, showcasing home-grown talent on the global stage."

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "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."

Sunset Studios has hosted multiple small and big screen hits including When Harry Met Sally and La La Land.

Blackstone and Hudson Pacific shared their excitement to work together on another site, saying they were "confident" the facility would be in high demand.

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 chief executive officer of Hudson Pacific, said: "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.

"We look forward to working with Broxbourne Council to ensure the project has a meaningful positive impact on the local community."