Boris backs 'Broxywood'! Prime Minister welcomes Hollywood's plans for new Hertfordshire film studios

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of the Broxbourne film studios plans during a visit to the Airbus plant in Stevenage

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of the Broxbourne film studios plans during a visit to the Airbus Defence and Space plant in Stevenage on Monday, August 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

The arrival of Hollywood in Hertfordshire has been welcomed by both the Prime Minister and the county council as the country bounces back from the pandemic. 

Real estate giants Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties, a leading Los Angeles-based office and studio owner and operator, have announced that they intend to invest in building a £700million new film, TV and digital centre in the borough of Broxbourne.

They have bought a 91-acre site close to Junction 25 of the M25, on land to the west of Waltham Cross allocated in the borough’s approved Local Plan 2018-2033 as a strategic employment site. 

Artist impression of the proposed Sunset Studios development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Artist impression of the proposed Sunset Studios development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. - Credit: Business Wire

It will be for the first expansion of the Sunset Studios platform outside of the US.

Speaking in Stevenage during the opening of Airbus' new £35 million facility this week, Boris Johnson said the proposed studios would soon be known as 'Broxywood' by locals.

The PM said: "I'm thrilled that Blackstone has got a big investment coming in to make films at Broxbourne, or 'Broxywood' as no doubt it will shortly be known. 

"It's going to mean 'Broxywood' will bring about 4,500 jobs but also shows that the UK really is the place to make films. We're storming ahead on that front, so fantastic to see it."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is shown the workings of ADTM mechanism during a visit to the Airbus plant

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is shown the workings of ADTM mechanism, which adjusts the reflectors of a satellite, by apprentice engineer Josh Gilberts during a visit to the Airbus plant in Stevenage. - Credit: PA

Film and High End TV production is booming in this country, as Boris Johnson acknowledged.

"It’s I think a testament really to the dynamism of the UK creative culture-media sector," said the PM during his Airbus visit.

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"People always want to make films in this country and it’s increasing the whole time.”

The Broxbourne studios announcement was described as "wonderful news for local people" by Hertfordshire County Council leader Richard Roberts.

Artist impression of the proposed Sunset Studios development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire.

Artist impression of the proposed Sunset Studios development in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. - Credit: Business Wire

Chair of Hertfordshire Growth Board, Cllr Roberts said: “This announcement is fantastic news for Hertfordshire and, together with the new Sky Studios development currently being built at Elstree, is another clear sign of our county’s continued attractiveness and status as home to the UK’s world-class creative media industry.

“This is wonderful news for local people and our ongoing commitment to ensuring high quality local employment opportunities, with more than 4,500 permanent jobs to be created in Broxbourne which will be vital to delivering sustainable growth.

“We have some important leading national and international businesses in Hertfordshire. Ensuring the county continues to be a thriving place to do business, as well as supporting Hertfordshire’s economic recovery following an uncertain 18 months, is of the utmost importance.

"This is a huge step forward in achieving these ambitions.”

Michelle Blayney, Lloyds Banking Group's ambassador for the South East, says the potential investment will be a huge boost to the county.

“This is a major coup for the region that builds on the area’s already rich heritage in film and TV. Just as we’ve seen in other parts of the UK, landmark investments like this can act as a catalyst, attracting further growth and expansion in adjacent industries.

“For local firms, it has the potential to create collaboration opportunities right on their doorstep, whilst the promise of up to 4,500 new roles is sure to provide career opportunities for the local community, as well as attract new talent to the area.

“This could have a profound and lasting impact on the local economy at a crucial time when businesses and households are recovering from the effects of the pandemic.”

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