By Celeste Carrigan
Hollywood film makers Warner Bros. have announced plans to develop a permanent UK studio. The new complex will be built around and expand the existing facilities of Leavesden studios, Hertfordshire, which has acted as home for the Harry Potter films for the past 8 years.
As the end is near for the Harry Potter films, Hogwarts will live on, as they will have a permanent home in the new studios. Warner Bros. new complex will also include a visitor centre, which will give film fans the ultimate experience of their favourite films to come out of the studio. The centre will give them access to memorabilia such as sets, props and costumes from films such as the Harry Potter series, The Dark Knight and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Warner will be opening stages to the public for behind-the-scene tours, when the expansion opens in 2012.
Barry Meyer its Chairmen and Chief executive released the following statement regarding the purchase:
“Our purchase of Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, and our multimillion-pound investment in creating a state-of-the-art, permanent UK film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.”
This is the first Hollywood studio to purchase of its own permanent facility in the UK and is new build is estimated to cost £100m. The purchase will create one of the biggest filming locations in Europe.
Warner Bros. has been involved in the UK Film industry for the past 86 years and have spent £1.9bn in the past decade on film production . More recently it has increased it production activity in the UK after buying Shed Media, who produce shows such as Wife Swap. They have also expressed an interest in purchasing Channel 5.
This comes as welcome news for the film industry following the decision to disband the UK Film Council. The expansion of studio will not only be great for the UK Film Industry, it will also create around 1500 jobs and 300 jobs for building and specialist contractors.