Showbiz

Britain’s Pinewood film studios plans expansion

Pinewood Studios are shown in this undated aerial view. — Afp picPinewood Studios are shown in this undated aerial view. — Afp picLONDON, Feb 2 — Britain’s Pinewood Studios, home to the James Bond film series, is to submit fresh plans to develop a new site and double its production capacity, The Guardian newspaper reported today. 

Pinewood, west of London, said the expansion, developing a £200 million (RM976 million) site, was needed to allow Britain to compete with Hollywood for big-budget movies. 

The British film industry was running at maximum capacity in 2011, The Guardian said. Pinewood owns the 100-acre site and claims its 15-year plan would create 3,100 new jobs and pump almost £100 million per year into the government’s coffers. 

The studios’ owners saw their original plans blocked last January after five years of opposition at every stage. 

They will submit their drastically revised plans to the South Buckinghamshire local authority on Friday, said The Guardian

A part of the original project that has now been dropped would have seen 1,400 new homes created in 16 “streetscapes” — including a Venetian canal, a Parisian square and New York apartments — that would have been used as movie sets. 

Ridley Scott, who directed films including “Alien”, “Blade Runner” and “Gladiator”, said: “The expansion at Pinewood is long overdue. “The UK has to keep investing in new technology, skills and infrastructure to keep pace with international competition.” 

Pinewood Studios, which opened in 1936, has been used by films including the James Bond, Superman, Tomb Raider, Alien, The Hobbit and the Carry On series. — Afp-Relaxnews

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