Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously approved temporary plans to bring a Hollywood style film studio to Shinfield. This is the first phase of a larger studio proposed for the site.
In December 2020, the University of Reading announced a deal with a US film studio investor to develop a major film studio and digital creative hub, to be known as Shinfield Studios. This would create a state of the art 21st Century film and television production complex at the Thames Valley Science Park, and bring around 600 new jobs and 220 construction jobs as well as major inward investment to Wokingham borough’s economy.
This is an exciting step for Wokingham Borough. We are already an international centre for technology and innovation, with existing links to the film industry. Having this major film studio in the borough will take us that step further onto the global stage.
This comes at the perfect time, just as we are heading into a period of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The jobs and inward investment from this project couldn’t come at a better time.
The five-year temporary planning consent will allow four sound stages and four workshops, with parking and landscaping, and improvements to the public right of way along the western boundary. The applicants hope this first phase will be ready for use by September this year.
The Thames Valley Science Park has been identified as a location for innovative growth and it’s great to see that what we are creating there is being recognised and becoming ‘the place to be’. This venture may not have been part of our strategic plan for the borough, but people have welcomed the opportunities it will bring and it is the support from local residents and Shinfield Parish Council that has really enabled this project to progress.
The studios will be a sustainable development, using modular construction to reduce waste development and construction traffic, solar roof panels generating 10% of the site’s energy needs, air source heat pumps, cycle storage and facilities and electric vehicle charging points.