A new London location for Troubador Theatres promises a boost to the local economy and demonstrates the long-term health of the industry in the UK
It’s a confusing time for the film and television industry. We’ve spent some time recently looking at various economic indicators, including deals such as Sky and STUDIOCANAL, the European growth of Netflix and the vast rise in people watching streamed TV (including the BBC) and vast increases in subscriptions. It’s an emerging market sector and the pandemic has changed viewing habits dramatically.
Covid-19 has also had a tremendous impact on production, with all shows suffering delays in bring new series to our screens (we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve hunted for news for Lucifer, Outlander, The Witcher and The Boys to name but a few out of dozens). It’s fair to say the short-term is chaotic. Only this week Kemps Film TV Video (KFTV) news has reported on the new restrictions for production companies coming into the UK (here) an exemption removed on the 18th of January; only two weeks earlier on the 5th the same industry source was celebrating the news filming could continue despite lockdown3.
Longer term a growing sector needs new content. Thanks to vaccination we can see a brighter future for the economy, though a short/medium downturn seems probable in many sector. One piece of news to welcome is a new film studio complex in London from Troubador Theatres. The deal with Enfield Council is to build a massive 155,000 square feet film and TV studio complex in London with six sound stages. The local authority says it will be the largest such facility inside the North Circular and phase 1 will open Spring 2021.
This is on top of other news of new facilities in announced in recent months, including:
A 22 acre site, Dagenham Studios announced July 2020
Sky Studios Elstree developing 22 football pitches worth of production space, also announced July 2020
Shinfield Studios outside Reading with LA investors expecting numerous Hollywood productions to use the site from late 2022, announced December 2020
A 20,000 square foot sound studio in Liverpool expected to open spring 2021, also announced last December
You only have to watch a few minutes of many new shows to see British acting talent on screen, never mind the scores of people working behind the scenes, and to know how many shows are filmed outside of the US. The economic benefits to the industry as a whole and the local economies can be immense (for example Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland, Star Wars in the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland). We’ve every reason to be positive for the long term — it’s just a matter of getting there!