Government’s commitment to attracting inward investment from the creative industries has secured another coup, with the news that Warner Bros is to build three new state-of-the-art sound stages at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, just 2 years after opening for business.
Since opening its doors in June 2012 after investing over £100m in redeveloping the site, the facility has been consistently near capacity. The construction of three new sound stages, (comprising one 35,000ft2 and two 17,000ft2) will make the UK an even more attractive destination for productions from around the world.
The news comes on the same day as production began on a new Tarzan action adventure film, starring Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz and directed by David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films. The film will join Warner Bros.’ Pan, directed by Joe Wright, which has been filming in the UK since 28th April 2014.
The announcement comes ahead of an industry reception tonight, hosted by the Prime Minster and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, which will remind potential investors just how much the UK has to offer the creative industries sector, both here and abroad.
The Government’s substantial tax reliefs for the film, TV, animation and videogames sectors, combined with recent investment of more than £20m in skills and training for the next generation has provided a huge boost to the industry. Over the last 3 years, employment within the creative industries has grown at 5 times the rate of the wider economy, and the sector generates more than £8m an hour for the UK. And Government is determined to ensure this success continues.
Reinforcing the huge role that the UK’s creative industries are playing in driving growth, and the Government’s commitment to creating the perfect environment for this dynamic sector to flourish in, the Government is unveiling new measures aimed at fostering continued growth within the sector, including:
- The launch of the UKTI Creative Industries International Strategy which aims to double the value of creative industries exports to £31 billion, double the amount of creative services companies that export, and drive increased inward investment to the UK’s creative industries – all by 2020. The strategy sets out a five-year action plan for Government and industry to bring greater prominence to the creative industries at home and abroad. Aims include establishing new international partnerships and alliances, maximising overseas supply chain opportunities in major global projects for creative businesses, and focusing inward investment on key centres of UK creative excellence.
- Slashing red tape by removing the unnecessary requirement to apply for planning permission for location filming. This will facilitate filming inside of buildings and outside on land including the construction of sets, subject to a prior approval by the local planning authority. We will be consulting on this shortly.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:
For years the UK has been at the cutting edge of the creative industries – and we want that to be the case for decades to come. This comes back to two things – and the two things that I see being as the most important in my job. One: promoting our culture. Music, film and television help inspire young kids and bring our country together – so I will always back those industries. And two: our long-term economic plan. The announcements today, and the reception tonight, are about securing investment, creating new well-paid jobs and opportunities, and helping us build that brighter, better future in our country.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
British talent, services and products are in high demand around the world and our £71 billion creative sector is one of the UK’s most important industries, employing thousands of people across the country.
UKTI’s new international strategy builds on the UK’s global reputation for innovation and quality by setting a goal to double creative exports, double the number of creative companies that trade and establishing the UK as the favoured location for inward investment for the creative industries sector, creating long term jobs and building a stronger economy.
Josh Berger CBE, President, Warner Bros said:
The UK is known for world class creativity and innovation, and some of Warner Bros.’ greatest successes have been produced here with British talent, at the studios we’re continuing to invest in and grow. Today we’re delighted to be reinforcing our commitment to the UK creative industries through the expansion of our studios and the announcement that our highly anticipated Tarzan action adventure film will be shooting there.
These announcements form a key part of Creative Industry Week - #CreateUK – a DCMS-led initiative to shine a spotlight on the success of the industry and its extraordinary contribution to the growth of the UK economy. Together with the industry, we’re using #CreateUK to champion the success of the sector, explore the employment opportunities and look at what makes the UK’s creative industries so exceptional. The week includes video interviews, Twitter debates, blogs and graphics. Find out how you can get involved.