Pinewood to Pull Out of Wales as It Doubles Down in London
Pinewood is pulling out of its studio in Wales, the company’s latest exit from ventures in various locations around the world as it rejiggers its international strategy.
Pinewood said Tuesday that, following discussions with the Welsh government, it had decided to end its agreement to operate, manage and market the studio in Cardiff, the Welsh capital, where productions such as hit show “Sherlock” have been shot. The agreement will expire March 31, 2020.
The announcement comes after the company said over the summer that it was pulling out of studios in Malaysia and Atlanta. It is concentrating instead on its expansion in and around London, where Disney signed a long-term deal last month to occupy most of historic Pinewood Studios and Netflix is setting up a production hub at Shepperton Studios.
“The last decade has seen the value of film and television production in Wales more than double,” Paul Golding, chairman of the Pinewood Group, said in a statement. “Wales now has a robust and mature market, with the three main studios in Cardiff currently running at capacity. Our decision will enable us to concentrate on our growth plans, including our extensive expansion at Pinewood and Shepperton Studios.”
Pinewood said that no productions currently underway in Wales would be affected. Besides “Sherlock,” the Cardiff facility has also hosted shoots for the show “The Bastard Executioner” and the films “Journey’s End” and “Show Dogs.”
Studio space is at a premium in Britain, where the boom in film and TV production has outpaced the supply of state-of-the-art shooting facilities. Various sites around the U.K. are being developed, renovated or expanded to try to accommodate the demand, including in Wales, where shows such as “Doctor Who” and the new BBC series “His Dark Materials” have been shot. The Welsh government said that, over the past five years, film and TV productions that it has funded have spent more than £100 million ($128 million at today’s exchange rate) in Wales.
“We have worked closely with Pinewood throughout their time in Wales and utilized the company’s industry knowledge to get the best economic outcomes for Wales and make it a thriving and established location for filmmakers,” Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Wales’ deputy culture minister, said in a statement. “Pinewood leaves Wales to concentrate on its own growth plans at Shepperton at a time when all three studios in southeast Wales, including Wentloog, are operating at full capacity, with productions such as ‘His Dark Materials’ and ‘Brave New World.’”
The Pinewood Group, which is now owned by Aermont Capital, said it was “exploring expansion in other international markets” but did not specify any countries.
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