A STATE-OF-THE-ART film studio could be built in Reading, it has been announced.

Blackhall Studios announced today (February 19) its initial agreement with the University of Reading for Blackhall to develop the largest purpose-built film studio and digital creative hub complex in the UK.

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Blackhall explained the state-of-the-art film studios, incorporating purpose-built digital production facilities, would bring major Hollywood film productions to the UK and create up to 3,000 new jobs in Reading and Wokingham boroughs, including around 1,500 employed at the studio site.

There will also be a high-tech cinema and other facilities that can be used by local people.

Proposals for the new development at Thames Valley Science Park will, subject to planning permission, generate a long-term partnership with the University of Reading.

Blackhall is an established studio in the US with its operation in Atlanta producing big-name films including Jumanji: The Next Level.

Ryan Millsap, chairman and CEO of Blackhall, said: “Blackhall is the global standard for entertainment production space and our US-based clients like Disney, Universal and Sony are all asking us to expand into the UK to meet their desire to create productions here.

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"They wouldn’t trust just anyone to meet their high standards, so we are delighted to serve them in this way.

“We are very excited about the prospect of investing in the UK creative industries as one of the most vibrant markets in the world.

"We hope that the site at Thames Valley Science Park will be the start of a series of investments in the UK which will see investment in jobs, training and the creative arts across a range of disciplines.

"The UK has a wealth of talent that our UK companies recognise and want to partner with for decades to come.”

The deal marks Blackhall’s entry to the UK market and is the first of several investment opportunities being considered.

A planning team is being appointed with planning applications set for submission to Wokingham Borough Council early in 2020, with a view to opening the new facility in 2022.

Blackhall Studios is in discussions with the University of Reading, which owns Thames Valley Science Park, to bring proposals forward.

Sam Foley, chief financial officer of the University of Reading, said: “We are delighted to be talking to Blackhall Studios, whose proposals would build a whole creative hub at Thames Valley Science Park.

“These proposals will boost the creative and cultural economy of our region.”

Nick Smith, Blackhall UK’s President and COO, added: “Britain has an enviable array of filmmaking talent, but the industry is short of high-quality studio facilities capable of catering for the new and emerging technologies that will form the core of television and film production in the future.

“The proposals support the UK Government’s commitment to doubling the sector’s annual inward investment to £4bn by 2025 and Blackhall is committed to play its part in making that vision a reality.

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"This initial investment of £150 million into the UK economy will create a new powerhouse of creative production and educational achievement, as well as generating up to 3,000 new jobs.”

Blackhall Studios explained they will ensure a full and thorough consultation process is undertaken as part of the planning process and looks forward to meeting and speaking to more members of the community in due course.