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Movie making in the Home Counties was given a boost today by plans for a £700m studio complex.
Sunset Studios at Theobalds Park in Broxbourne is set to become Hertfordshire’s third major production facility alongside Warner Brothers at Leavesden and Elstree Studios, Borehamwood.
The project’s backers, investment firm Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties claimed more than 4,500 permanent jobs would be created.
Hertfordshire has enjoyed a movie-making boom in the last 25 years, in part because of it’s close proximity to London.
The studio at Leavesden was created in a disused aero engine factory in 1995 for the Bond film Goldeneye.
George Lucas chose the site for his Star Wars prequels in 1997. It later became the home of the Harry Potter films.
Part of Steven Spielberg’s 1998 WW2 epic Saving Private Ryan was filmed in a recreation of a Normandy village at Hatfield.
James Seppala, head of Blackstone Real Estate Europe, said: “We are excited to expand our partnership with Hudson Pacific into the UK and intend to deliver a world-class studio facility that will help ensure that the UK continues to be a premier destination for content production globally.
Above: Aerial footage of Theobalds Park in Broxbourne - the proposed site of the studios
“This is a continuation of our thematic investment focus and long-term conviction in media, entertainment and content creation.”
Victor Coleman, chairman and chief executive officer of Hudson Pacific, said: “With our expertise developing and operating state-of-the-art media campuses and Blackstone’s resources and existing market presence, we are confident this facility will be in high demand from leading content creators.
“We look forward to working with Broxbourne Council to ensure the project has a meaningful positive impact on the local community.”
Among the productions filmed at Sunset Studios are:
When Harry Met Sally
I Love you, Man
La La Land
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
The Bridge on the River Kwai (Academy Awards Best Picture winner)
Six Feet Under