Work could start this year on Thames Valley Science Park’s new TV studio after councillors unanimously approved the plan.

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee approved the University of Reading proposal for a new 4,591 sq m television studio at its July 14 meeting.

The university says construction is likely to begin late 2021, with a view to the studio being open by the end of 2022. It is part of the wider Cine Valley scheme which will include the new Shinfield Studios.

Planning consultant Mark Owen from Barton Willmore, told the meeting: “The global market for TV production has boomed and investment in the UK industry has reached its highest figures on record.

“This is due to a number of factors including the rise in new digital streaming services and the continued attraction of the UK as a skills base and location for film and post-production work.

“Yet, as the demand for studio space is increasing, the regulatory and political pressure to move production outside the M25 is also mounting.

“This is the key reason why a TV studio, built at the science park, will also be so well located to meet the growing demand in this sector.”

Darren Browne, commercial director of the university, said afterwards: “We are thrilled that the proposals have been approved by Wokingham Borough Council, the culmination of a great deal of detailed work by our team and our partners.

“It represents a great opportunity to further build on the growing film and TV ecosystem evolving through our Cine Valley vision, which will deliver significant investment and new jobs over the next few years.

“We look forward to working closely with the wider community as the studio plans are delivered over the coming year.”

Professor John Gibbs, head of the School of Arts and Communication Design at the university, said: “The new TV studio will potentially create the opportunity for a range of work experience, placement and mentoring schemes for University of Reading students, and enable us to work with other local partners to develop opportunities for young people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

“These schemes could provide training and routes to careers in a variety of fields important to the growing creative media industry, which has been marked as of economic importance to the wider UK economy.”

Live audiences will be able to attend some shows.

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