Warner Bros. Discovery plans big Leavesden studio expansion

Leavesden Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has unveiled plans to expand its UK studio at Leavesden, with production capacity set to increase by a further 50%.

Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden will have 10 new sound stages added to the existing 19, along with an additional 400,000 square feet of production and support space to take it a total of 1.78m sq ft.

Building will begin in the second quarter of 2024 and is expected to be completed in 2027, with the expanded facility set to become a primary production hub for WBD’s DC Studios.

Leavesden has been home to a raft of film and TV shows, ranging from Barbie and House Of The Dragon, to upcoming film Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom.

DC Studios co-chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran are working with the Leavesden team on the expansion, which WBD claim will create 4,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

The US studio also expects the move will increase Leavesden’s contribution to the UK economy by more than £200m, raising the total value of film and television production at WBSL to in excess of £600m annually.

Simon Robinson, COO at Warner Bros. Discovery Studios, said the move would enable Leavesden to become “home to even more incredible storytelling for both film and television projects,” while UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt described the expansion as “a huge vote of confidence in the UK.”

Studio space in the UK has been at a premium for the past decade, prompting a raft of investments over the past five years that have seen US studios and others investing.

West London’s Versa Studios, Disney’s Shinfield site, Sky Studios’ Elstree operation and Pinewood Studios are among locations to have been expanded, alongside Belfast’s Harbour Studios and First Stage Studios in Scotland.

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