Netflix Cements UK Plans
Netflix has had an office presence in the UK for the last couple of years but the US company has just announced it will be creating a production hub at Shepperton Studios. Here’s the details from Variety…
Netflix has created a new production hub in the U.K., with a 14-stage studio space close to London. The first Netflix show to use the new facilities will be Charlize Theron’s upcoming film for the streamer and Skydance, “The Old Guard.”
The new hub will be situated at the iconic Shepperton Studios, which is in Surrey. It is part of the Pinewood Group, and was recently the base for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” Pinewood recently bought land near the existing site and has set plans in motion to expand the studio space further, as first reported by Variety.
“Shepperton has been synonymous with world class film for nearly a century and it’s an important production hub for the U.K. creative community today,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. “We’re incredibly proud to be part of that heritage. This investment will ensure that British creators and producers have first rate production facilities and a world stage for their work.”
Just this week Netflix officials told a U.K. parliamentary hearing there was headroom to expand in Britain. Netflix films its series “The Crown” at Elstree Studios in the U.K. The U.S. streamer said that in the last year over 25,000 cast, crew and extras have worked on almost 40 Netflix originals and co-productions across Britain. Its new Shepperton base in England will sit alongside its existing European production hub in Madrid, Spain.
Pinewood Group is expanding both its Pinewood and Shepperton bases, with studio space in huge demand in the U.K. “Netflix’s decision to base their production hub at Shepperton is a strong vote of support for the Pinewood Group and gives us great confidence as we expand our UK studios,” said Paul Golding, chairman, Pinewood Group. “Our plans, which represent the single biggest expansion of stage space across the UK, will see Pinewood Group open twenty-two new sound stages, enabling us to host even more productions.”
The new Netflix hub is a boost to the UK’s film and TV production business. “It’s fantastic to welcome another global player to the U.K., the world’s creative powerhouse,” said outgoing BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill. “With all the opportunities it will bring for UK talent and UK expertise to create new homegrown stories to enthrall audiences worldwide, it’s great to see Netflix making their home here.”
Even with the uncertainty of what will happen after Brexit, it is encouraging that a big US company like Netflix is investing a lot in the UK film and TV sector.