Shepperton Studios project ‘will cement UK’s status as global filmmaker’

The expansion of the Shepperton Studios will allow the UK to “cement our status as one of the best places globally to make film and television”, the Culture Secretary has said.

Michelle Donelan on Tuesday visited the studios in Surrey, which is part of the Pinewood Group, and met senior leaders of Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video as well as members of Spelthorne Council.

They toured the new £500 million expansion project, which is due to open from June 2023, making it the second biggest studio in the world.

The development will include a further 17 stages and deliver about 1.2 million square feet, with all of the new space already leased to the two streaming giants for the long term.

Shepperton tour
The development will include a further 17 stages and deliver approximately 1.2 million square feet (Tim Whitby/PA)

Ms Donelan said: “Shepperton Studios is already a world class production facility, creating blockbuster classics such as 1917, Gladiator, Billy Elliot and Love Actually.

“The studio’s major expansion will enable our homegrown dream factory to become the second-largest studio in the world and create bigger and better global hits, which will cement our status as one of the best places globally to make film and television.”

She added: “Alongside the Government’s funding for the BFI Film Academy and National Film and Television School, we look forward to working with the industry to make sure British filmmakers have the skills they need to make the most of the new job opportunities our great entertainment industry has to offer.”

Michelle Donelan met Spelthorne Councillors at the studios (Tim Whitby/PA)

Paul Golding, chairman of Pinewood Group, added: “Our £500 million expansion of Shepperton Studios in Surrey is progressing at a great pace.

“We are adding over one million square feet to support the UK film industry and to meet the needs of our customers, Netflix and Amazon, who have signed long-term contracts to occupy all of the new space.”

Earlier this year Prime Video said they had signed a multimillion pound long-term contract for the exclusive use of nine sound stages, workshops and office accommodation facilities at the Shepperton Studios.

This came after Netflix had already agreed to a deal for the exclusive use of studio space at the site.

Ms Donelan’s visit continued to Pinewood Studios where she opened the Buckinghamshire film office and met students studying creative media skills and toured the production spaces and facilities.