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10 November 2010, 05:23
Giant Hollywood studios Warner Bros has announced that it’s bought Leavesden Studios, home to all eight Harry Potter movies.
The US firm has also said it will invest £100 million into the Hertfordshire studio, making it a permanent UK film base for the company.
The full plans, which are being unveiled at a red carpet event at Claridges hotel in Central London, will include more on the redevelopment and expansion of the studios, which will include two new sound stages to house a Harry Potter set tour, complete with sets, costumes, creatures and props for the films.
The move will create an extra 300 jobs with the area whilst safeguarding 1,500.
MP for Watford, Richard Harrington, told Heart:
“I’m very pleased with it indeed, not just because of buying Leavesden Studios but also because it is in excess of £100 million pound development which will be the formost film studios outside the United States, which will put Leavesden and the Watford area on the map.
“Up to now it’s been one of the greatest secrets in this country that all these Harry Potter films have been made within two or three miles of where so many people live without people even realising it. So this is a great step forward and I hugely hugely encourage it.”
Barry Meyer, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. said, “For 86 years, Warner Bros. has been intrinsically involved in film production in the UK. Our purchase of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden and our multi-million pound investment in creating a state-of-the-art, permanent UK film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.”
Alan Horn, President & COO, Warner Bros. said, “From Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2, the roll call of movies made at Leavesden is nothing short of spectacular. Over the last decade, it has been a place of incredible ambition, boundless energy and unprecedented success and I’m delighted that we are going to build on that rich legacy with many more productions in the future.”
Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, commented, “At a time when investment in the UK is critical, Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden is a significant endorsement of the creative talent here in the UK. It will generate jobs, inward investment and interest in an industry that is respected the world over.”
Dan Dark, SVP & Managing Director, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, added, “Our exciting re-development plans give us the opportunity to create a truly world-class facility in the UK. We are grateful that Watford Council, Three Rivers Council, Hertfordshire County Council and the local communities recognise and value the contribution that Warner Bros. has already made in the area, and we look forward to playing our part in sustaining and growing the region’s reputation for filmmaking excellence in the coming years.”