Major plans for a ‘creative media hub’ and ‘powerhouse’ for filming in Shinfield have been approved.

The massive hub will be located at Thames Valley Science Park off Cutbush Lane.

While much of the park will be dedicated to scientific research, a sizeable portion of it is being turned over for cinematography at Shinfield Studios, which has been billed as a ‘new powerhouse of British film, TV production and innovation.’

The park itself is owned by the University of Reading and falls under the jurisdiction of Wokingham Borough Council.

Shinfield Studios has now won permission from the council to be permanently established in Thames Valley Science Park.

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The scheme involves four major elements: the construction of 18 sound stages and seven workshops for film and TV making, five offices to support filming activities, and a central hub building which will provide welfare facilities for future employees on the site.

Much of the magic will take place at the sound stages, which are large soundproof rooms where a film or TV show can be recorded.

These will be supported by workshops where costumes and props are made.

The massive plans were discussed at Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee this week (October 13).

The main concern from councillors was over traffic to and from the studio site.

Councillor Carl Doran (Independent, Bulmershe & Whitegates) said: “I want to make the point that local people certainly feel the weight of traffic around this location is already high, and it’s a bit hidden by the events of the last 18 months, but my concern is for future development on top of this which is certainly possible.

“I think we’re already at the limit for traffic there and we need to think more constructively about how that’s managed.”

Councillor Andrew Mickleburgh (Liberal Democrat, Hawkedon) asked that a construction phase travel plan be drawn up to keep HGVs off  Lower Earley Way and keep them on the M4 instead.

Planning officer Christopher Howard replied that  Lower Earley Way is a “strategic route which is capable of handling HGVs.”

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The Creative Media Hub will have a whopping 1375 parking spaces, with 79 of these reserved for disabled blue badge holders, a total of 154 electric vehicle charging points (77 of which will be active), 64 motorbike spaces, and 160 cycle spaces.

Parking will be divided between surface parking and  a multi-storey car park.

You can view the full plan by typing in reference 211841 into the council’s planning portal:

Bracknell News: A CGI of what the office buildings will look like at Shinfield Studios. Credit: Scott BrownriggA CGI of what the office buildings will look like at Shinfield Studios. Credit: Scott Brownrigg

The creative media hub was unanimously approved by the  council’s planning committee, which also chose to refer it to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Although planning officer Howard said the referral could delay work on the project by three to six weeks, he argued that it “would be best from a challenge point of view to refer it and go down that process.”

Earlier this year, the committee approved plans for a permanent TV studio to host game shows and permission for a temporary film studio for production companies like Netflix or Amazon which will expire in 2026.