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Lewis Silkin oversees construction contracts and construction aspects of major new UK film studio

18 July 2022

Shinfield Studios development set to bring Hollywood to the Thames Valley.

Lewis Silkin has played a key role in a project which aims to bring more major Hollywood film productions to the UK, advising Shinfield Studios on the construction aspects of a £261 million development loan facility from Cain International for part of the University of Reading’s ‘Cine Valley’ project.

The deal constitutes a major piece of international investment into the UK TV and film industry, and the studios themselves are expected to generate between £500-600 million of inward investment annually.

Shinfield Studios will span nearly 1 million square feet and has planning for a total of 18 purpose built sound stages, as well as workshops and offices. In addition, the development will house facilities for cast and crew. In total, the development is expected to create 3,000 new jobs and act as a thriving community hub.

The four temporary stages that opened in November 2021 are already let to major high-end TV, streaming and film companies. Work on a further 14 stages is now well advanced.

The construction contracts and construction aspects of the financing and equity raise were overseen by Clare Reddy, Partner and Head of Construction, supported by Owen Williams, Managing Associate, and Sarah Langworthy, Paralegal.

The commercial property, banking and corporate teams at Farrer & Co acted for Shinfield Studios. The Farrer & Co team was led by real estate partner Mark Gauguier alongside Martin Blake and Graham Dunnon financing; Sarah Aggarwalon real estate; Jon Haley and Rosanna Martin on corporate; and Karen Phull on planning.

Clare Reddy said: “It was a pleasure to work with Commonwealth Real Estate and Shinfield Studios Ltd on a project of such significance to the UK, supporting continued growth in the production of world-leading British films and television. It demonstrates Lewis Silkin’s expertise in advising clients in the film and television industry on construction issues to deliver much needed studio space. We are looking forward to continuing to work together with our client, and the Farrer & Co team, on the future phases of the project.”

Mark Gauguier said: “This was a complex and wide-ranging deal that played to our strengths in terms of understanding the nuances of delivering major international developments in partnership with local communities and multiple different stakeholders. We are delighted to have supported our client in a flagship project that showcases the filmmaking talent and facilities on offer both in the Thames Valley and across the UK, as well as the market’s appetite for participation in the film industry.”



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