A massive film studio is planned for Thames Valley Science Park.
US-based Blackhall Studios has agreed a deal with the University of Reading to develop the UK’s largest purpose-built film studio of its kind at the Shinfield site.
Subject to planning, the state-of-the-art studios would bring major Hollywood film productions to the UK and create up to 3,000 new jobs including around 1,500 employed at the studio site.
A high-tech cinema and other facilities at the development could be used by locals.
Blackhall is an established studio in the US. Its operation in Atlanta has produced big-name films, including the Jumanji: The Next Level.
Ryan Millsap, chairman and chief executive of Blackhall, said: “We are excited to be establishing a base in the UK. Blackhall is an established brand in the US with a highly regarded studio complex in Atlanta.
“We are very excited about the prospect of investing in the UK creative industries as one of the most vibrant markets in the world. We hope that the site at Thames Valley Science Park will be the start of a series of investments in the UK which will see investment in jobs, training and the creative arts across a range of disciplines and bring huge benefits to the UK economy.”
Blackhall says the scheme, its first in this country, will generate £500 million a year for the UK economy.
A planning application to Wokingham Borough Council in imminent and the studios could open by 2022.
Nick Smith, Blackhall UK’s president and chief operating officer, said: “Britain has an enviable array of filmmaking talent, but the industry is short of high-quality studio facilities capable of catering for the new and emerging technologies that will form the core of television and film production in the future.
“The proposals support the UK Government’s commitment to doubling the sector’s annual inward investment to £4 billion by 2025 and Blackhall is committed to play its part in making that vision a reality.
“This initial investment of £150 million into the UK economy will create a new powerhouse of creative production and educational achievement, as well as generating up to 3,000 new jobs.”
The team working on the plan includes Scot Brownrigg as architect and Bidwells as project managers.
* Images above and below: CGI of the proposed studio.
© Thames Valley Property No 199 (tvproperty.co.uk)