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New UK facility Shinfield Studios gets the go ahead with Disney production confirmed to start in 2022

Dec 14, 2021

Shinfield Studios, part of Blackhall Global Partners, has received full planning permission from Wokingham Borough Council to begin construction on a state-of-the-art studio facility, which will comprise 18 sound stages.  The 85,000 square meter media hub will be located in Shinfield, Berkshire within the Thames Valley Science Park, becoming one of the largest film and TV studios in the UK.  This will include four sound stages which have already been completed, following accelerated planning permission. They are now ready for operation, with a Disney production confirmed to start in 2022. Once complete Shinfield Studios expects to generate total inward investment to the UK economy of approximately £600 million each year*.

In March, Shinfield Studios was granted temporary planning consent from Wokingham Borough Council for four sound stages and four workshops. In October, Wokingham Borough Council granted full planning permission for a facility with 18 sound stages, however, owing to the scale of the development, the final approval was deferred to secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove.

Gove has now given the project go-ahead. Four sound stages have already been built and are ready for operation, with a Disney production confirmed to start in 2022. A further nine are due to open in 2023, with completion of the entire facility expected by the end of 2024.

It will also include workshops, a contemporary office environment and a post-production/screening facility. The site will not use any natural gas and will use solar panels, with a focus on sustainable production. Through the integration of low and zero carbon technologies a typical reduction of 20% carbon emissions will be achievable.

The studio will be operated by Blackhall Global Partners. The US company also owns a nine-stage facility in Atlanta and is developing a 19-stage facility in Los Angeles, set to open in 2025.

Nick Smith, joint managing director, Shinfield Studios said: “We are incredibly excited about the potential for Shinfield Studios, both as a significant contributor to the thriving UK film and TV industry and for its already proven ability to attract the world’s foremost story tellers and producers. Our goal has been to move rapidly to support our clients who need to secure space from next year.  Completing the first four sound stages already has enabled us to get up and running quickly and deliver a state-of-the-art studio space to meet Disney’s needs.”

Alan Howard, co-principal shareholder of Blackhall Global Partners added: “The UK enjoys a strong reputation for creative excellence and it is incredibly rewarding to be in a position to contribute to the continued growth of the TV & Film sector with the establishment of Shinfield Studios.”

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