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Project Pinewood to rival Hollywood

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The studio which has borne almost 1,500 films – from James Bond to Jason Bourne - has announced a £200 million expansion plan.

Pinewood studios will create a medieval castle, a Venetian canal and a Californian high school at its home in Berkshire - becoming the biggest film-making centre outside Hollywood in the process.

Project Pinewood is a bid to win back film-makers, who in recent years have opted for the low budget surroundings of Eastern Europe.

Chief executive of Pinewood Shepperton, Ivan Dunleavy said: ‘This should make us more competitive.

‘It’s a unique proposal: the largest centre for film-making outside the US. While we are in a high-cost territory, and we can’t do anything to avoid that, people like to film in Britain because of the efficiency and skills that people have.’

The studio has produced the likes of The Bourne Ultimatum, Casino Royale, The Da Vinci Code and 28 Weeks Later.

Industry players are overjoyed at Pinewood’s plans.

Stewart Till, chairman of the UK Film Council, said: ‘Project Pinewood would help secure the future of UK film for decades to come.’


1. Jonathan Stuart-Brown17 Oct 2009, 10:08pm Report

When arch competitors Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios were put together in 2001, they were bought for a combined £97 million. They were making great profit. Now they are valued by The Stock Market at under £60 million, making feeble profits after very fat years in the industry. On Wednesday October 21 they may fail to get planning permission for all this, after spending double their annual profit chasing it. The Stop Project Pinewood campaign seems to be on every house for miles around. Regardless of the outcome on Wednesday, Pinewood has lost local goodwill.
However, a far bigger and much more ambitious, visionary relocation of this brilliant expansion plan to the West Midlands will energise, finance and rescue the British Film Industry ...indeed finally create it as we have only ever had The South East Film Industry which is proving once again to be well-meaning but financially below par.
This bold expansion to the West Midlands will be the platform to build over 500 sets not 20 around the UK including Sci-Fi, The Pyramids, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo, Sydney etc
It can include 15 acre sites with sound stages and post-production facilities in EVERY county from Cornwall to the top of Scotland, from west Wales to East Anglia.
This is the real plan to save British Film Making and give it an unbeatable integrated infrastructure and global edge on cost, speed and quality of production.
Of course it should be called Pinewood Studios in every location in The UK.
If Pinewood need a new home for this plan after Wednesday October 21, The West Midlands and Black Country have thousands of acres of land ready to kickstart this dominance of global film production IN EVERY LANGUAGE. The region has the hunger to make it work and a great deal to bring to the table.
Jonathan Stuart-Brown

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