news 1 week ago

Sky Plans Major New Studio at Elstree in the U.K.

Variety — Stewart Clarke

Comcast’s Sky plans to open a 14-stage studio at Elstree in the U.K., outside London. The European pay-TV company has recently launched content unit Sky Studios and said its new studio complex, which needs planning permission, would lead to the creation of 2,000 new jobs.

As well as Sky shows, the new studio space is also expected also host film productions from stablemates Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from NBCUniversal Content Studios. It will also have capacity to host productions from third-party producers.

“Sky Studios Elstree will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of U.K. and European talent and creativity to the world,” said Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s group chief executive. “We know our customers love our award-winning Sky Originals like ‘Chernobyl,’ and our investment in Sky Studios Elstree will enable us to bring more unique stories to more viewers.”

Financial services company Legal & General will develop and provide financing for the Elstree project, which will span 32 acres. Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General Group, said: “Growing at twice the speed of the economy as a whole and accounting for over 2 million jobs, our creative industries are a key component of Britain’s bright future….Sky, NBCUniversal and Comcast are global leaders in entertainment which will bring the best out of the U.K.’s amazing pool of talent.”

Film and high-end TV production is booming in the U.K. and studio space in high demand. Netflix is taking over the historic Shepperton site and will use it as a base for its U.K. film and TV originals. Pinewood is also expanding and numerous other new sites are being developed.

Elstree is in Hertfordshire, north of London, and already houses a studio complex. In recent times, projects such as “The Crown” have shot there. Sajida Bijle, current head of the local council, said the studio would “put Elstree firmly on the global stage.” Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, added: “Sky Studios Elstree will be of immense importance to the U.K. film and television industry – it will not only boost the local economy of Hertsmere and Hertfordshire, but will also have a major impact on the U.K.’s creative sector as a whole.”

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.