Sky to build huge new Elstree film studio

Artists impression of Sky Studios Elstree Image copyright Sky
Image caption An artists impression of Sky’s Elstree development, which will have 14 sound stages.

Media giant Sky is to build huge new studios near the existing Elstree site outside London, creating 2,000 jobs.

The 32-acre development will be used by Sky, other Comcast-owned firms including NBC Universal, and be open to third parties.

Sky predicted up to £3bn would be invested in new production at the site over the next five years.

The UK’s film and television production sector has performed strongly in recent years.

Hits such as The Crown have been filmed using UK facilities as the appetite and the battle between Netflix, Amazon and streaming services has heated up.

Sky Studios chief executive Gary Davies said the decision to build the studios was driven by customers’ hunger for high quality original content.

It was hard to keep up with the increasing demand for high quality content, Mr Davies said. It typically takes three years to bring a project to the screen, he said.

Image copyright Sky
Image caption Chernobyl, a Sky HBO joint production, took ten years to make, Mr Davies said.

He said recent successes such as Chernobyl, and HBO smash-hit Game of Thrones, had a high proportion of European actors, and showed US audiences were ready to embrace productions made overseas.

Sky spends £7bn annually on production in Europe, including football rights, and plans to double the amount it spends on making its own content to £1bn per year by 2024.

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