Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden to expand and become new DC production hub
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has announced huge expansion plans for Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden (WBSL), also making the site a primary production hub for DC Studios.
The development will boost production capacity by 50%, adding 10 new sound stages (going from the current 19 to 29) and an extra 400,000 square feet of production and support space. The overall production space will increase from 1.14 million sq ft to 1.78 million sq ft.
DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran will consult with the expansion team to ensure that their ideas are incorporated into the new studio and production facilities.
It is estimated that the expansion will create 4,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the UK and grow WBSL’s contribution to the UK economy by more than £200m, raising the total value of film and television production at WBSL to an excess of £600m annually.
Groundbreaking on the project will begin in the second quarter of 2024 and is expected to be completed in 2027.
Simon Robinson, chief operating officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Studios, said: “Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is globally-recognized for its exceptional sound stages and facilities, and with this planned expansion adding significant capacity and capabilities, it will be home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects.
“We are proud to not only be growing our productions in Leavesden and making it the main hub for DC Studios, but also to be growing our economic and community contributions to the UK’s creative sector.”
Recent projects filmed on WBSL soundstages include Barbie; HBO’s House of the Dragon; and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, said: “The enormous strength of our creative industries sees films and television shows made in the UK reaching cinemas and front rooms across the world, including Barbie and the House of the Dragon series.
"Warner Bros. Discovery’s ambitious plan to grow its Leavesden studio is a huge vote of confidence in the UK – creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy – and means that British-made entertainment will continue to delight and entertain global audiences.”
The expansion plan is developed in consultation with Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council with sustainability high on the agenda. WBD is also launching CrewHQ, a scheme to nurture workforce development in film and television production.
There will be an on-site training center at WBSL to support existing crew, create career pathways for people of all backgrounds and foster the next generation of talent using the industry expertise on site. In addition, CrewHQ will support regional skills programs, outreach educational support, careers events and entry-level training.
Images via Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.
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