Sky has been given the go-ahead to build its new “state-of-the-art” film and TV studio in Elstree following a vote by Hertsmere Borough Council.
A joint project with Sky’s sister-company NBCUniversal and financed by Legal & General, the project will see the construction of 12 sound stages each of which will be capable of being merged or sub-divided to accommodate productions of all sizes.
Sky Studios Elstree will become home to Sky’s original TV shows, film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from Universal Studio Group. It will also be able to host productions from third party producers.
Sky says the project will create over 2,000 jobs in the local area, including 900 during the construction phase and 1,500 once it becomes operational.
Secretary of State for Culture and MP for Hertsmere, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP, said: “The film and TV industry plays a vital role in the UK’s economy, with its programming keeping us informed, entertained and connected over the past few months.
“Sky Studios Elstree will become home to the best-loved films and TV shows of the future, championing British creativity on the global stage. It will also bring investment, jobs and opportunities to people across Hertsmere – cementing Elstree & Borehamwood’s reputation as ‘The British Hollywood’.”
Cllr. Morris Bright MBE, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “We have a long and illustrious reputation for film and television production in our borough. This exciting development means the creative industries will continue to thrive in Hertsmere.
“For local people, it means not just jobs – potentially 2,000 roles being created – but a major injection of skills and expertise, which we hope to harness through educational and training opportunities.
“And Sky Studios Elstree’s huge production spend will provide a massive boost to the local economy such as retail and leisure sectors and professional services at the heart of our communities in Hertsmere.
“Above all, this is a moment of huge pride for our residents and businesses. With the council-owned Elstree Studios, nearby BBC Elstree and now Sky Studios Elstree, this really does mean the return of the British Hollywood to our borough.”
Caroline Cooper, Chief Financial Officer, Sky Studios, said: “Even during challenging economic times, Sky Studios Elstree represents Sky’s continued commitment to the UK’s cultural economy, as well as our goal to recruit, train and develop the leading creative talent of tomorrow.
“Alongside our colleagues at NBCUniversal and our partners at Legal & General, we will create a world-leading production studio that will turbocharge Sky Studios’ plans to create even more award-winning Sky Originals for our customers.
“We would like to thank Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden MP, Cllr. Morris Bright MBE and Hertsmere Borough Council for supporting the project, providing useful guidance and feedback to ensure the project further boosts the local economy and celebrates the best of British and international creativity.”
Helen Parker, EVP of Universal Pictures Content Group, NBCUniversal said: “After years of producing great content in London, NBCUniversal is excited to have Sky Studios Elstree, our own production destination for our film and television studios – including Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Working Title, and Universal Studio Group – where we can fully embrace all that the flourishing UK creative industry offers.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with our colleagues at Sky Studios.”
Nigel Wilson, CEO, Legal & General, said: “This is a critical investment for the UK’s bounce back. Landmark construction projects are rocket fuel for the economy and investing in our creative industries has never been more important.
“As a global leader, Sky attracts and retains the best talent, continuing to bolster the UK’s entertainment sector whilst driving job creation and economic growth.
“At Legal & General, we back our pension promises by using society’s capital for society’s benefit. This is a perfect match for our Inclusive Capitalism strategy.”