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Pinewood confirms expansion plan

Pinewood confirms expansion plan
Staff Reporter
28 August 2012

Pinewood Shepperton is to submit a revised application for the expansion of the Buckinghamshire site before the end of the year, it was revealed today in a trading update.

Reporting at the company’s AGM today chairman Lord Grade confirmed that the application would be made this autumn as part of the site’s “long term plan for growth and investment.”

This was necessary for Pinewood Shepperton to remain globally competitive and respond to the changing needs and future demand of the screen and digital industries, he said.

In January Pinewood was refused planning permission for Project Pinewood, its £200m scheme to build hundreds of new homes and as well as new sets around Pinewood Studios. 

The plans for its site in Iver Heath included building hundreds of new homes and multi-storey street scenes of Paris, London and New York. But Project Pinewood proved contentious and was opposed by many local residents on the grounds that the construction would take place on greenbelt land.

The studio facility which is Europe’s largest provider of stage and studio space is also in discussions with the Government of the Isle of Man to source and advise on film investment opportunities for the Isle of Man’s £25 million Media Development Fund.

The Isle of Man Government is proposing to negotiate a deal with Pinewood Shepperton that would see the studio source and advise on film investment opportunities for the island's £25m Media Development Fund (MDF) for an initial term of five years. 

As part of the arrangement, the Isle of Man Government will also seek Isle of Man parliamentary approval to acquire a stake of up to 19.9% in Pinewood Shepperton plc as a strategic government investment. 

In addition Lord Grade reported a strong performance during difficult economic conditions. “The company continues to invest in its facilities to ensure it remains a leading destination of choice for producers of creative content.”

“As part of this we have embarked on a major investment in our television business. Film revenues reflect near capacity activity and Media Park is enjoying high occupancy levels.”

He added: “We completed a successful refinancing of our main banking facilities in May. Pinewood’s shares were delisted from the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange and admitted to trading on AIM on 23 July, along with a £5.4 million placing of new ordinary shares.

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