Pinewood-Shepperton, the studios behind Maleficent, Guardians of the Galaxy and the new Star Wars movies, have been granted permission to double in size with a £200 million project. The increase in capacity will see new stages, workshops and production offices.  

David Cameron Pinewood StudiosDavid Cameron [L] at Pinewood Studios  [Photo: getty images, credit: WPA Pool]

Chief executive Ivan Dunleavy said: “Our project builds on the success of the government's policy for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage space in the UK. As a result of today's green light....thousands of much needed new jobs will be created in this growing sector of the economy.”

Dunleavy added that the approval would secure the future growth of Pinewood and wanted construction to begin as soon as possible. In 2012, the project was blocked due to local objections and it was blocked again last year, despite the housing element of the plans being scrapped. However, a new appeal to the secretary of state for communities and local government has now succeeded.

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Pinewood offers filmmakers tax breaks to shoot movies in the UK and Disney has already signalled its intention to shoot some of the Star Wars spin-off movies at the vast site.

Daniel Craig PinewoodDaniel Craig at a Skyfall photocall at PInewood Studios in 2008 [Photo: Getty Images, credit: Rosie Greenberg[

Sahill Shan, an analyst at N+1 Singer, called the news “game changing”, adding, “[The planning permission] is highly positive news given the initial set-back in Jan 2012. It provides the platform from which Pinewood can drive incremental growth, having been capacity constrained. [The project] would double the existing Pinewood Studios by adding a total 100,000 square metres of new facilities, including studios and stages, workshops and production offices. Total cost is estimated at around £200m over three phases, with phases 2 and 3 subject to demand requirements over time”

Last week, Hollywood star Harrison Ford was taken to hospital after suffering an ankle injury on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII at Pinewood. He is said to be recovering in an Oxford hospital.

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