Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight unveils new Birmingham film studios ahead of movie

Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight, unveils the new Digbeth Loc Studios in Birmingham. Credit: PA Images

The creator of Peaky Blinders has unveiled the site of a new "world-beating" film studio complex in Birmingham.

Steven Knight said construction on the former warehouse, which sits on the canal in Digbeth, begins this week and is expected to be completed by the middle of the summer.

The new Digbeth Loc Studios, which will include production offices, is set to create 760 jobs - including for people who can "walk to work", said Knight.

It's also set to be one of the key filming locations for the new Peaky Blinders film.

Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight (right), was joined by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street (left), to unveil Digbeth Loc Studios. Credit: PA Images

The studio development project - a joint venture between Knight and Piers Read, who runs Time+Space - has attracted £1.3 million in public money, through the city deal fund.

The money is the result of an agreement between Birmingham City Council and Homes England, to pull together commercial land for the creative sector.

As well boosting filming and production capacity, the location will also house music studios, which will be taken up by band UB40.

UB40 will be based in the new music studio being built on site at Digbeth Loc Studios. Credit: PA Images

Knight said the ambitions of the studio is to "to plant an industry" in Birmingham which will "draw in story-tellers from across the world".

The Digbeth building will be "Phase One" of a larger three-phase project, which will eventually see the construction of two more purpose-built studio buildings, nearby.

Knight said: "So we've got real ambition, and big productions are going to come and it's going to change the nature of the opportunities for people in this city.

"I wish I could announce the things that are coming, because there's a pipeline of productions that are coming, that are quite mind-blowing.

"I can't announce them, yet.

"But they are coming and it's going to be great."

Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight, said production on the new film sequel would begin "very soon." Credit: PA Images

Knight, who's brought the Shelby street gang's exploits to life through the hit BBC series since 2013, revealed the film will be in production "very soon".

He also said that a call for extras for the upcoming film will be made shortly, adding "all you need is a haircut - and a cap!".

Speaking of the forthcoming movie, Knight said: "I am embargoed from giving dates and times - but Peaky Blinders movie will be in there.

"And soon."

The Digbeth Loc Studios are expected to be up and running by mid-summer 2023. Credit: PA Images

The project's backers and partners, including a film school, are also planning to select students from local neighbourhoods like Aston, and fund their training, "to make sure our neighbourhood is also a place where our crew and staff come from," Knight said.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street, also at the launch, said it was a "landmark moment" for the city and region.

He added: "This is about new jobs and new opportunities in a sector where perhaps Birmingham and the West Midlands perhaps hasn't been as strong as it could be."

Asked if the mayor himself might be appearing in a flat cap in the forthcoming Peaky Blinders movie, he replied "who knows, you'll have to ask him".