In a groundbreaking announcement, Warner Bros. Discovery has revealed its grand vision to expand the renowned Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden near London will create another 4,000 jobs and contribute more than £200m to the UK economy, raising the total value of film and television production at WBSL to over £600m annually.
The ambitious project entails the addition of 10 new state-of-the-art sound stages and an impressive 400,000 square feet of production and support facilities. The endeavor, set to commence in the second quarter of 2024 and conclude in 2027, is poised to significantly elevate WBSL’s production capacity by over 50%. An exciting development for film enthusiasts, this expansion will position WBSL as the primary production hub for DC Studios.
With this expansion, the total number of stages will surge from 19 to an impressive 29, and the overall production space will expand from 1.14 million square feet to a staggering 1.78 million square feet. Some recent blockbuster productions that have graced WBSL’s soundstages include the global sensation “Barbie,” HBO’s acclaimed series “House of the Dragon,” and the highly-anticipated “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” To ensure that their creative input is seamlessly integrated into the new facilities, DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran will collaborate closely with the expansion team.
Simon Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Studios, said: “Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is globally-recognized for its exceptional sound stages and facilities, and with this planned expansion adding significant capacity and capabilities, it will be home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects. We are proud to not only be growing our productions in Leavesden and making it the main hub for DC Studios, but also to be growing our economic and community contributions to the UK’s creative sector.”
Apart from bolstering its role in the global film and television industry, this expansion promises a significant boost to the local economy. It is estimated that the project will generate approximately 4,000 new direct and indirect job opportunities across the United Kingdom. Furthermore, WBSL’s contribution to the UK economy is expected to soar by over £200 million, catapulting the total value of film and television production at the studio to an impressive £600 million annually.
This ambitious expansion plan has been carefully developed in collaboration with Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, with a strong emphasis on sustainability. Warner Bros. Discovery remains steadfast in its commitment to skills development in the industry, with the upcoming launch of CrewHQ, an initiative aimed at nurturing workforce development in film and television production. The on-site training center at WBSL will not only support existing crew members but also create pathways for individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering the growth of the next generation of talent by harnessing the wealth of industry expertise available on-site. Additionally, CrewHQ will play a pivotal role in supporting regional skills programs, offering outreach educational support, organizing career events, and providing entry-level training opportunities.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, said: “The enormous strength of our creative industries sees films and television shows made in the UK reaching cinemas and front rooms across the world, including Barbie and the House of the Dragon series. Warner Bros. Discovery’s ambitious plan to grow its Leavesden studio is a huge vote of confidence in the UK – creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy – and means that British-made entertainment will continue to delight and entertain global audiences.”
In summary, Warner Bros. Discovery’s visionary expansion plan for Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden represents a major milestone in the UK’s film and television production sector. With the addition of cutting-edge facilities, an influx of job opportunities, and a commitment to sustainability and skills development, this project is set to reshape the landscape of the industry and further solidify WBSL’s status as a global production powerhouse.