Councillors have given the backing for an eight-stage film studio to be built near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, further boosting the UK’s offer to producers of film and high-end television.
Buckinghamshire Council said Wycombe Film Studios would be a “hub for creativity” and a “catalyst for economic growth.” The developers, Stage Fifty, said the project would support 1,200 jobs and bring £300m to the area.
After feedback from residents, the 26-acre site will include tree scanning, green walls and special cladding to ensure that it blends in with its surroundings. Stage Fifty said the development would create green spaces, including new habitats for wildlife.
The first sound stage secured temporary planning approval in time for a shoot last year. The remaining seven stages should be completed within eighteen months.
The announcement comes just a month after the same council approved an £800m expansion of Pinewood Studios, under which another twenty one new stages will be created – alongside a publicly accessible nature reserve.
The developments coincide with details in the budget of reforms to the tax reliefs available for production in the UK. The BFI says the package is intended to ensure “the audio-visual tax reliefs remain world leading and drive growth in the UK’s dynamic creative sector.” The BFI’s chief executive, Ben Roberts, says “Combined with our extraordinary talent, infrastructure and technical and creative expertise, the screen sector Tax Reliefs, now remodelled as Expenditure Credits, have super charged our industry on an unprecedented scale.”
The BFI expects the tax changes and improved facilities to ensure that the UK “remains a truly competitive production hub, giving us economic recovery and growth, creating thousands of jobs for people up and down the country and enabling creative talent and storytelling to thrive.”