Warner Bros Studios Leavesden, the firm behind the Harry Potter film series, is creating 4,000 jobs.
The company’s significant expansion brings hope to the UK’s beleaguered film and TV production sector.
The development will finish in 2027 and will have an additional 400,000 square feet of space at the Hertfordshire-based studio.
This expansion would inject over £200 million into the UK economy, building jobs directly and indirectly in the UK..
The UK’s film and television industry has been grappling with several challenges.
These include Hollywood strikes and declining commissions for domestic productions.
Simon Robinson, COO of Warner Bros Discovery Studios, said: “Warner Bros Studios Leavesden is globally recognised for its exceptional soundstages and facilities, and with this planned expansion adding significant capacity and capabilities, it will be home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects.”
Warner Bros Studios Leavesden is renowned for its association with the iconic Harry Potter franchise.
It serves as a major tourist attraction, offering studio tours for fans of the series.
However, some people living nearby have raised concerns about the proposed expansion and its impact on green belt land.
The studio would welcome Hollywood’s Sunset Studios as its primary base outside the US.
It’ll house ten additional soundstages expected to boost production capacity by over 50 percent.
Work would commence early next year, with completion expected in 2027.
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This will increase the studio’s total stage count from 19 to 29 and expand production space from 1.14 million to 1.78 million square feet.
Barbie and House of the Dragon were filmed there
Notable recent productions filmed at WBSL’s soundstages include “Barbie,” “House of the Dragon,” and the upcoming “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”
There are concerns about the livelihoods of freelance film and TV crew in the UK, with an estimated three-quarters currently out of work.
The industry faces questions about experiencing a temporary post-pandemic setback or confronting an existential crisis.
The challenges include Hollywood strikes and reduced budgets due to declining advertiser spending.