Plans to build a film studio near Reading that could be used to make star-studded Hollywood blockbusters have been approved.

Shinfield Studios has been granted planning permission to set up a film studio – with four sound stages and four workshops – in Thames Valley Science Park for five years.

The project is part of long-term vision for a ‘Cine Valley’ and Shinfield Studios says it has already been approached by US film production companies that are looking for studio space.

The plans were approved by Wokingham Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, March 24, but there is a condition that states the studio will be removed and the land will be “restored to its former condition” in 2026.

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The university has also applied for planning permission to build a permanent TV studio – with enough seats for an audience of 550 people – at the science park in Shinfield. It hopes to open that studio in 2022.

Nick Smith, managing director of Shinfield Studios, said the film and television production industry in the UK “is booming” but a lack of studio space is “holding back any growth”.

“There’s an acute shortage of studio space to meet the demand of companies like Disney, Netflix, Amazon and Apple,” he said.

“A typical production will spend £80 million to £100 million over a nine to 12 month period and up to £10 million in any month – a significant proportion of this will be spent locally.

“A typical production will also employ upwards of 500 crew, creating a number of local highly paid job opportunities.

“The industry will bring substantial growth and new business opportunities to Berkshire.”

Shinfield Studios was launched in 2020, after Los Angeles based film studio investor Commonwealth Real Estate LP agreed a deal with University of Reading, to build studios and a creative media campus at the science park.

It will set up the temporary studio to the south of Cutbush Lane, on land currently used for agriculture.

The council’s Planning Committee agreed to approve the plans at Wednesday’s meeting, even though several councillors raised concerns about the loss of greenspace.

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Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor said: “I’m disappointed the temporary studios are proposed mainly on open countryside when other land within the science park has not been utilised first.”

She added: “I am, on balance, in favour of this application.

“In time, this use will generate economic prosperity, including opportunities for many local residents in this area.”

Cllr Andrew Mickleburgh said: “I am also concerned about the further loss of land, designated by Wokingham Borough Council, as countryside.

“I wonder if the application was to build houses on the site whether the outcome of the planning application would be very different.”