Hollywood's Sunset Studios expands into UK

The project is expected to create more than 4,500 permanent jobs and contribute over £300 million annually into the local economy.

Hollywood's Sunset Studios expands into UK. Picture:  @SunsetStudiosLA/Twitter.

LONDON - Hollywood's Sunset Studios on Monday announced plans for a major film and television studio in the UK, which is experiencing blockbuster investment from the United States.

Sunset owners - real estate giant Hudson Pacific Properties and private equity group Blackstone - plan to splash more than £700 million on the facility in Broxbourne, near London.

The project is expected to create more than 4,500 permanent jobs and contribute over £300 million annually into the local economy, a statement said.

It comes as US-owned broadcasting group Sky is in the process of building a multi-billion-dollar studio on a site close to the proposed Blackstone project.

Britain's renowned film industry has been boosted in recent years by online players like Netflix seeking facilities for their own productions.

The pandemic has meanwhile triggered a surge in the streaming of films and television shows, benefitting also the likes of Disney+.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Monday's announcement as "excellent news for the UK's film and TV industry".

Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties said their first studio outside the US seeks to be "a major new centre for film, TV and digital production".

"We are thrilled to expand our Sunset Studios platform in the UK, a global hub for film and television production," said Victor Coleman, chairman and chief executive officer of Hudson Pacific.

Sunset Studios has had a role in hit films including When Harry Met Sally and La La Land.

Culture minister Oliver Dowden described the announcement as "yet another vote of confidence in the UK's booming film and TV industry".

Similar projects include new studios close to London planned by US group Blackhall.

Elsewhere, the capital's Shepperton studios has struck an agreement with Netflix, broadcaster of The Crown - the hit series chronicling the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

Pinewood, which has forged a partnership with Disney, is expanding the site most famous for its key role in the 007 films and also wants to open it up to the public by offering attractions.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.