As demand for fresh film and TV content becomes ever greater due to a mix of ‘lockdown viewers’ and the big networks (Netflix, BBC, Disney, Amazon etc) needing ever more production space, the Thames Valley is increasingly providing the setting. 

In one scheme, Thames Valley Science Park near Reading, Blackhall Studios has hugely ambitious plans for studios, part of the park’s Cine Valley scheme, in another Rebellion is turning a former Daily Mail print works in Didcot, Oxfordshire into studios and now we learn Pinewood Studios in Bucks has just announced new £450 million expansion plans.

To help feed the entertainment beast, a cluster of companies will also no doubt emerge across the region to help service this demand for new studios and provide the plethora of support and products required to make movies, films and games.  This will create more demand for space and help to boost the office and industrial markets.

In an era when doom and gloom abounds across the rest of the office and retail sectors, it is refreshing, and even re-affirming, for those involved in the property industry to hear about a sector which is active and growing. The income spent will help to fuel the investment in much of the Thames Valley region and this should be applauded.

And whilst the design of the buildings are ultimately pretty unappealing – large industrial boxes with a load of mechanical and electrical kit, not unlike their cousins in the logistics market which also occupy big industrial boxes, demand for this particular type of development is unlikely to end soon.

Watch out for the sequel on this story. Coming to your town soon.

UK Prop Fest Webinar and OxPropFest 2020

Many, many thanks for everyone’s contributions to our two-day webinar last week and the final of the Oxfordshire Property Awards.

We had six sessions online which included some fantastic contributions from a total of more than 25 speakers and so much great content which we will distil and use on another day.

For the awards evening on September 15, we were at the cutting edge of technology. As with anything this new, there were problems. As close as five minutes before we went live, we were in grave danger of having to cancel the whole thing.

But, through the efforts of That Event Company, we did go live, albeit 30 minutes late. But the evening was a great success and can be seen on our YouTube channel.

There were 40 submissions, 24 shortlisted entries and eight winners including Leader of the Year, Angus Horner, who richly deserved the award for his contribution to the Oxfordshire property market following his work at Harwell Campus.

Well done to him and all the winners and runners up. The full list is in today’s Thames Tap newsletter.

Let’s hope we can all meet in person next year on site at Bicester Motion for what is shaping up to be a fantastic evening. Fingers crossed we avoid Covid-19 restrictions, or will it be Covid-21 by then?

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