A NEW FILMING studio will bring £100 million of inwards investment to Wokingham borough.
Last night, the council’s planning committee approved an application to build the first phase of Shinfield Studios.
Based in Thames Valley Science Park, off the Eastern Relief Road in Shinfield, the first phase is a temporary application to build a studio space for five years.
Nick Smith, joint managing director of Shinfield Studios said it was great news.
“We are delighted,” he said. “We want to thank Wokingham Borough Council for their support as we begin our journey to create a state of the art, 21st-century film and television production complex.”
Shinfield Studios said the reason for pushing forward with a short-term application, is because a Hollywood based production company wants to start filming by September this year.
Once the initial plan is in place, Shinfield Studios then aims to follow-up with the main application for the wider film and TV studio site.
“The opportunity to bring a major Hollywood based production company to the UK, and specifically to Wokingham and Shinfield was presented to us just before Christmas 2020,” Mr Smith added. “However, to realize this ambition, these facilities need to be built and ready for use by September 2021 at the latest, the planning approval means we can get on and deliver this first stage of our plans.”
The entire site is estimated to create around 3,000 jobs, and bring inward investment of £500 million each year.
The initial application alone will bring 600 jobs, and 220 construction jobs to the area.
Ian Johnson, joint managing director of the company, said they have worked closely with Shinfield Parish Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Reading.
“Our plans will make a major contribution to the Government’s ambitions for the post-COVID recovery in the creative industries,” he said. “They will enable us to begin to deliver on our promise to the community to create something really very special with an international standing, putting Shinfield on the global film map.
“We are planning to bring forward a full application for permanent facilities later this spring. This is an exciting moment for us and for our ambitions to deliver for the UK film and TV industry as well as for the local community in Shinfield and Wokingham.”
Samantha Foley, chief financial officer of the University of Reading said she is delighted the plans have been approved.
“It will be great to see films emerging onto the international stage from right here on our doorstep,” she said. “This is just the beginning, as the proposals by Shinfield Studios for the rest of their site at Thames Valley Science Park present an exciting opportunity for the University community and the growing creative industries in Reading, Wokingham and across the UK.”
Shinfield Studios is expected to cost more than £200 million to create.