‘The Land Rush’ is the race to build film studios in the UK to accommodate the burgeoning demand for Film and TV production. Each time there is a boom in a particular industry or sector there is a `rush’ to max out the opportunity.
The opportunity to mine gold in the Californian hills produced arguably Charlie Chaplin’s greatest film ‘The Gold Rush‘ (he wrote, produced and directed the film as well starring in it). Another memorable film based on the booming new world of railways is ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’. As a side note I would comment that `The Gold Rush` has become an almost forgotten masterpiece whilst praise and appreciation for `Once Upon a time in the West` seems to be on the increase.
Anyhow, back to the main storyline -the amount of studio space in Britain is likely to double in the foreseeable future. Currently there is about 3.4 million sq.ft. of permanent stage space available. Within the next 2 years there is expected to another 1 million sq.ft. available, whilst there is in excess of 3 million sq.ft. currently with planners.
Film and TV production is booming in the UK. There are several reasons, government tax incentives, a weakening of the pound since the Brexit referendum in 2016, a fabulous range of locations, strong acting and crew talent plus excellent post production facilities.
The major streamers and studios have committed to long term leases at several studios; Netflix at Shepperton, Disney at Pinewood and Amazon at Bray. There are new studios planned at Elstree, Dagenham and Reading. Many property developers are aware of the opportunity that this demand presents and there is a strong appetite for studio investment.
Adrian Wootton OBE, CEO of Film London and British Film Commission, said ‘I believe our industry has the potential to lead, develop and sustain growth clusters around the UK, driving new revenues across the nations and regions by building sustainable infrastructure and creating highly skilled jobs with long term careers for literally thousands of people’.