Sunset Studios: £700m Hollywood studio set to open in the UK

Major film, TV and digital production complex in Hertfordshire aims to turn the town into a hub for local and international productions

A “world-class” Hollywood studio is being planned on a 37-hectare site in the town of Broxbourne, about 27 kilometres from London, UK.

The owners of the Sunset Studios chain in the US have acquired the site for £120 million (about $166m) and plan to invest more than £700m to build a major film, TV and digital production complex.

Hudson Pacific Properties and investment firm Blackstone, which together own the Sunset Gower Studios, Sunset Bronson Studios and Sunset Las Palmas Studios in Hollywood, said they plan to turn Broxbourne in Hertfordshire into a hub for UK and international productions.

Subject to planning permission, they said the film and television facility will create more than 4,500 permanent jobs and "contribute £300m annually to the local economy”.

Sunset Gower Studios, one of the first Sunset Studios properties, was built in 1912, and has been home to many Hollywood classics such as 1934’s It Happened One Night and recent TV shows such as Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. Other Sunset Studios locations have also hosted films including When Harry Met Sally and La La Land.

The UK studio will be the brand’s first expansion outside the US.

The British government said on Sunday it welcomed the move and that it was "supporting" the development of the studio.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, told the BBC the new studio “is yet another vote of confidence in the UK's booming film and TV industry”.

"Through the British Film Commission, we're supporting the development of stage spaces like this across the UK – boosting the local economy and backing our world-class creatives to make the next Bond blockbuster or binge-worthy box set,” he said.

Last week, Hudson Pacific Properties and Blackstone unveiled plans to develop a fourth Sunset Studios venue in the US, in Sun Valley, California.

To be called Sunset Glenoaks Studios, the fully equipped, state-of-the-art studio facility will be the first large-scale, purpose-built studio in the Los Angeles area in more than 20 years, the companies said.

The project, spread across four hectares, is estimated to cost $170m to $190m, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.

“We are leveraging our development and studio operations expertise to further expand Sunset Studios’ facilities here in Los Angeles, where demand from leading content creators for top-notch, fully integrated sound stages and support space continues to significantly outpace supply,” Victor Coleman, chairman and chief executive of Hudson Pacific said.

Besides London, another Sunset Studios facility is also being planned in Vancouver, Canada.

Updated: August 2nd 2021, 8:53 AM
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