Land owners and developers sitting on empty building sites could be making as much as £15,000 a day for letting film companies use their assets.
According to London’s film and media agency, Film London, 75% of the UK’s film industry is based in and around London, and almost £1bn of the UK’s £1.4bn feature film spend was invested in the capital in 2014.
Demand for film locations in the UK is soaring, as more companies look to the UK and London to shoot.
For example the former Central Saint Martins site in Holborn, WC2, has been vacant for four years and become one of the most used film locations in the UK.
Watch behind the scenes footage at the UK’s most used film location, set of the BBC’s Agatha Christie adaptation: And Then There Were None.
The main atrium is where Keira Knightley sat her maths test in The Imitation Game, former classrooms served as the laboratories in the upcoming Frankenstein movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, and today it is set up as a court for the new BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
In the UK producers can cut costs through the new tax credit scheme, introduced in 2013, which offers a 20% rebate for shows which cost more than £1m per hour of television to make. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox got £7m from HM Revenue & Customs for shooting 24: Live Another Day in London.
Location agencies, such as The Collective, search the city for sites which can be used for film production.
“There has never been a better time for landlords and developers to cash in on this demand for unique location hire,” says James Hanford, The Collective’s acquisition manager.
Landlords such as Land Securities, Cathedral Group, Minerva and Candy & Candy have all been cashing in on this opportunity.
With studio space running out, landlords could enjoy not just the financial benefits, but additional PR which associations with the creative industry can bring.