Plans for High Wycombe Film Studios have been unanimously approved by Buckinghamshire Council and could be open next year.

The council’s strategic sites committee gave the plans by Stage Fifty, expected to mean the creation of 1,200 jobs, the go-ahead on March 16. Stage Fifty expects the scheme (see gallery below) to be completed within 18 months.

The 13-hectare Wycombe Air Park site, south of the M40 on the edge of High Wycombe, will have seven sound stages in addition to one already built, 10 workshops, four production buildings, a rehearsal building, offices, a café, parking and new access.

There will be a total of 27, 378 sq m of production space, 17,000 sq m of which will be the sound stages. An academy is proposed at the site.

Stage Fifty chief executive James Enright said: “Wycombe Film Studios will be a unique creative space that works for everyone. We’ll deliver the same high level of service and personal attention to clients here as we do at Farnborough Film Studios and Winnersh Film Studios.

“Across our UK locations, we’ll offer the industry over 20 sound stages supporting a combination of large, medium and small-budget films and HETV, from Hollywood blockbusters to independent film and television.

“We also plan to build live broadcast sound stages for homebound unscripted television.”

Councillors heard the sound stages are for film production and not designed for audiences to attend TV shows. Audiences will be able to attend shows at Stage Fifty’s Winnersh scheme.

Martin Tett, leader of Buckinghamshire Council, said: “Buckinghamshire is the home of the UK’s film industry, so we’re delighted that planning permission has now been granted for Wycombe Film Studios.

“With its state-of-the-art facilities, the studios will be a hub of creativity. They’ll also be a catalyst for economic growth in the area, generating around 750 direct jobs and a further 450 indirect jobs, as well as providing new opportunities for education and training.”

Ed Drysdale, director of TP Architects, which designed the scheme, said: “We are delighted that the Wycombe Film Studios scheme we designed together with our client Stage Fifty was unanimously approved by Buckinghamshire Council strategic sites committee.

“High Wycombe will become a global film and high-end TV production hub with eight sound stages and a total of around 295,000 sq ft of high-quality production space. The proposal will support around 1,200 jobs, generate an estimated £305 million economic output, and provide young people with training opportunities.

“A significant amount of thought and care went into planning the operational layout, along with the design and appearance of the campus, so it was fantastic to receive recognition from both the planning department and the councillors on the high-quality and sustainably designed proposal.

“Wycombe Film Studios is a wonderful opportunity for the local area, and we are excited to help take the project through to the next steps, with construction estimated to be completed within the next 18 months.”

Gallery below (and image above) published with thanks to TP Architects.

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