Twickenham Studios bought as £500m fund launches for UK production

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by Josh Peachey

Twickenham Studios, which won an Oscar for its sound work on last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, has been bought by The Create District Improvement Company after it announced a £500m investment fund earlier this week.

The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI Co) was founded by real estate developers Piers Read, producer of hit Brit comedies The Inbetweeners and Peep Show, and Jeremy Rainbird, who helped launch Sharon Horgan's label Merman.

The company created the £500m fund, which is set to be invested in a network of film studios across the country, to help the production sector capitalise on the boom created by the likes of Amazon, Apple and Netflix. 

As part of the launch, the company unveiled the £39m acquisition of Twickenham Studios, which also earned a BAFTA for mixing Sam Mendes World War I epic 1917.

The investment will be used to expand Twickenham and develop more production facilities, including film stages, flexible workspace for creatives, as well as new event and hospitality space. 

Anthony Lilley, Creative District Improvement Company Chairman, said: "Despite the creative industries sector contributing 11 per cent of the U.K. GDP in 2018 and growing five times faster than the national economy, increasing demand for studio and production space in the U.K. had threatened to derail Britain’s prosperous creative rise with a lack of funding, facilities and expertise," 

Last year, production spend in the UK hit an all-time high with £3.7b. The Creative District Improvement Company have also promised to open "one million square feet of production space by 2024."

Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and the British Film Commission, added: "The U.K. screen industries are enjoying an exceptional boom time and it is crucial that we capitalize on this by continuing to develop our world-class infrastructure and provide access to as much purpose built studio space as we possibly can. 

"I am therefore delighted by today’s news of this major investment by a U.K. company into U.K. sites, including the expansion of Twickenham Studios with its rich history of attracting filmmakers, bringing benefits to the capital and indeed to the UK as a whole."