Warner Bros. Discovery (Nasdaq: WBD) has announced plans to expand Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden (WBSL), a state-of-the-art film and television studio in the United Kingdom, with the addition of 10 new sound stages and an additional 400,000 square feet of production and support space. Groundbreaking on the project, which will grow the production capacity at WBSL by more than 50%, will begin in the second quarter of 2024 and is expected to be completed in 2027. The expanded WBSL will become a primary production hub for DC Studios.
Simon Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery Studios, said: “Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden is globally-recognised 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.”
The expansion will boost the total stage count from 19 to 29 and the overall production space from 1.14 million sq. ft. to 1.78 million sq. ft. Recent film and television shows shot on WBSL soundstages include: the global phenomenon Barbie; HBO’s hit series House of the Dragon; and the upcoming film Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran will consult with the expansion team to ensure that their ideas are incorporated into the new studio and production facilities.
The expansion plan will extend WBSL’s positive economic contribution to the Leavesden community and across the United Kingdom. It is anticipated that the expansion will drive the creation of another 4000 new direct and indirect jobs across the UK and grow WBSL’s contribution to the UK economy by more than £200m, raising the total value of film and television production at WBSL to an excess of £600m annually.
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.”
The expansion plan has been developed in close consultation with Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council with careful consideration given to prioritizing sustainability. WBD also remains committed to skills development through CrewHQ, an initiative launching later this year to nurture workforce development in film and television production. The on-site training center at WBSL will support existing crew, create career pathways for people of all backgrounds and foster the next generation of talent using the wealth of industry expertise on site. In addition, CrewHQ will support regional skills programs, outreach educational support, careers events and entry level training.