The Wokingham Paper

Hollywood in Shinfield? University moots plan for major film studio complex

Film making
Movies could be made in Shinfield if plans for a major new film studio go ahead Picture: jacqueline macou from Pixabay

HOLLYWOOD could be coming to Shinfield if a joint venture between a major film studio and the University of Reading goes ahead. 

Under the proposals, space would be leased at the Thames Valley Science Park. A new studio for making movies, and an associated creative and digital hub, would be created and the university said that if the plans go ahead, it would take up most of the remaining land allocated in the original outline planning for the science park.

With video on demand services increasing, particularly in the United States with the recent launch of Apple TV and a Disney-owned streaming service, there is a shortage of studio space. 

In a statement, the university said that the film studios at Thames Valley Science Park could become a hub for a range of supporting creative and digital businesses. Options for the future of the park could encourage clusters of businesses in similar fields, linked to areas of world-leading academic expertise at the University. 

Since it opened, the science park has been home to a range of high-tech buildings and tenants, and the British Museum Archaeological Research Collection currently under construction. None of these would be affected by any of the proposals. 

Samantha Foley, the University’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “These are exciting proposals that would focus the future of Thames Valley Science Park around key areas of expertise at the University of Reading including film and TV, heritage and the arts, and innovation and technology.

“We want the science park to reflect our institutional priorities of supporting excellence, environmental sustainability and building strong communities.

“We will work closely with our neighbours and the wider community to create long-term opportunities to benefit Shinfield and the whole region.”

A consultation will be launched to allow residents and local stakeholders to have a say on the vision for the Thames Valley Science Park. 

The University of Reading will also submit a response to the Wokingham Borough Council Draft Local Plan in light of this feedback and a review of technical and need considerations. 

For more on the proposals, don’t miss Thursday’s Wokingham Paper. 

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