The UK is the world’s busiest film and TV production hub and last year alone saw spending on high-end TV and movie production reach £3.6 billion1 and the release of globally acclaimed films from Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King to Downton Abbey and The Favourite. Legal & General is backing this great British success story by working with partners to develop the country’s latest state-of-the-art film and TV studio.
Work will begin this month to clear the site ahead of construction of the new Sky Studios Elstree after Hertsmere Borough Council gave the scheme the green light. Once completed the studio is expected to create 2,000 jobs and attract a production spend of £3 billion in its first five years, providing an important economic boost as the UK recovers from the Covid-19 crisis.
The development represents a significant investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s owner Comcast and in partnership with sister company NBCUniversal, while Legal & General will finance and develop the scheme. Construction will commence under strict safety and social distancing guidelines and will contribute £230 million to UK GDP in 2020-2021.
Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, says: “This is a critical investment for the UK’s bounce back. Landmark construction projects are rocket fuel for the economy and investing in our creative industries has never been more important. As a global leader, Sky attracts and retains the best talent, continuing to bolster the UK’s entertainment sector whilst driving job creation and economic growth. At Legal & General, we back our pension promises by using society’s capital for society’s benefit. This is a perfect match for our Inclusive Capitalism strategy.”
Sky Studios develops, produces and funds original drama, comedy and documentaries and aims to more than double investment in original content by 2024 in order to build on the success of Sky Originals like Emmy-winning Chernobyl and Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose. NBCUniversal owns and operates news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant TV production operations, a leading television stations group and leading theme parks and internet-based businesses.
Caroline Cooper, Chief Financial Officer, Sky Studios, says: “Even during challenging economic times, Sky Studios Elstree represents Sky’s continued commitment to the UK’s creative industry, as well as our goal to recruit, train and develop the leading creative talent of tomorrow. Alongside our colleagues at NBCUniversal and our partners at Legal & General, we will create a world-leading production studio that will turbocharge Sky Studios’ plans to create even more award-winning Sky Originals for our customers.”