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UK set for multi-million investment boost

Piers Read and Jeremy Rainbird at Twickenham Studios

Two British entrepreneurs have teamed up to invest £500m (US$639m) in the UK’s TV and film studios to meet the industry’s growing demand for studio space.

The investment is being led by The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI Co), which was founded by entrepreneurs Piers Read and Jeremy Rainbird, alongside subsidiary operating company Time + Space Studios (TSS).

The duo is aiming to usher in a new era in the UK’s TV and film industry, capitalising on a multi-billion-pound market and studio boom created by streaming giants such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix.

Their strategy begins with the £50m acquisition and proposed improvement of Twickenham Studios London, and expansion into Liverpool and Kent.

Together, this is estimated to generate millions of pounds per annum and add 5,000 jobs to the UK economy.

The entrepreneurs plan to create one million square feet of production space by 2024, which would make them the UK’s fastest growing network of TV and film studios.

They have also pledged to develop educational partnerships and initiatives with the likes of Kent University aiming to address the growing skills gap that costs the economy approximately £4bn per annum.

Twickenham Studios already has a reputation as one of Britain’s leading production facilities and was the winner of an Academy Award for sound on Bohemian Rhapsody and a Bafta for 1917.

TCDI Co plans to develop more production facilities that will include film stages and flexible workspaces for creative industries, with new event and hospitality spaces at Twickenham Studios.

Anthony Lilley OBE, chairman of TCDI Co, said: “Despite the creative industries sector contributing 11% of UK GDP in 2018 and growing five times faster than the national economy, increasing demand for studio and production space in the UK had threatened to derail Britain’s prosperous creative rise with a lack of funding, facilities and expertise.

“We at TCDI Co have a genuine strategy that will address the space deficit and train the next generation of industry practitioners at each studio complex.”

Read added: “Twickenham Studios is a much-loved studio, a world-renowned heritage brand and a fantastic trading company. We have significant capital to develop the estate and upgrade the facilities as we continue to expand our operating studio platform throughout the UK including Liverpool and Ashford.”

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