Pinewood Studios to learn of expansion decision this week
In a poorly researched article in The Guardian
, it has been claimed that the James Bond franchise may be "forced from its UK home at Pinewood Studios" due to the location running at full capacity.
As Bond fans will know, this has happened before as both "GoldenEye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies" were shot elsewhere in the UK as Pinewood was fully booked at the time.
This Wednesday, Pinewood will be told by the South Buckinghamshire District Council whether it has been granted planning permission for the Â£200m development of 100 acres of greenbelt land it owns. The company said that the development, which would double the size of the complex over the next 10 years, is necessary if the UK film industry is to continue to compete with Hollywood and emerging markets as the base for blockbuster films and major TV productions.
"We're at capacity, the UK is at capacity, something has to give," said Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood. "If we as a sector don't respond to the growing demand then someone else will. [The producers of the Bond films] have to be financially responsible. If they get a better proposal elsewhere than the UK can mount then they have to look after their business as well."
Sam Mendes, director of Skyfall, warned that the strong bond between the studio and the film franchise cannot be taken for granted.
"Pinewood is the spiritual home of James Bond and the two franchises have enjoyed a long-standing relationship," he said. "Tradition, however, is not enough on its own. I am convinced of the need for Pinewood to keep on expanding to offer filmmakers the best facilities possible."
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