The British government has supported the 15-year project to
expand the company's studio in southern England, where the
latest Star Wars film is currently being filmed, after it was
blocked twice by local authorities.
Following the government's green light, Ivan Dunleavy, chief
executive of Pinewood which is Europe's largest film studio,
said construction would begin as soon as possible.
"Our project builds on the success of the government's policy
for the creative industries and addresses the shortage of stage
space in the UK," he said.
The expansion will include 100,000 square meters of new
facilities, including studios, stages and workshops.
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Earlier plans, which involved building on protected green belt land
surrounding London, were rejected by the local council last year and
in 2010 after a "Stop Project Pinewood" campaign by local residents.
The studios, home to more than 1,500 movies over 76 years, were used
to film 23 of 25 James Bond films including the latest hit "Skyfall",
as well as Oscar-nominated "Les Miserables".($1 = 0.5864 British
(Reporting by Jack Stubbs, editing by David Evans)
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