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Frasers Property UK, alongside Stage Fifty & Haslams Surveyors have won Deal of the Year at the 2022 Thames Valley Property Awards for the 245,000 sq ft innovative, long-term lease deal of studio, office and workshop space at Winnersh Triangle.

The award celebrates deals across the Thames Valley that have or will make an impact or make a major contribution to the region in terms of employment, new sectors entering the market and ensuring the area remains buoyant and relevant.

The signing of Stage Fifty exemplifies the innovative and flexible approach to leasing by Frasers Property UK. The British Film Institute reported 2019 as a record-breaking year for international TV production in the UK with inward investment reaching £1.3bn. Frasers Property UK has been one of the first to recognise and meet this demand through this letting during the pandemic, as well as recognising the speed required to deliver facilities.

The deal enabled Stage Fifty to operate immediately at Winnersh Triangle and react quickly to support the UK’s booming film and TV industry. It generated immediate demand from Sony Pictures and MGM. They built two bespoke stages within five months which enabled two films to begin production in April 2022.The remaining four stages in the deal will be delivered over time.

James Enright, CEO, Stage Fifty, said:
We’re developing a world-class creative tech hub for the film and TV industry at Winnersh Film Studios. Together with our manufacturing partners, SPANTECH, we’re building the new sound stages, including a 30,000 sq ft facility to house the world’s largest VP volume, which we’re developing with the team at Fin Studio Pictures.

This deal will create up to 1,000 jobs at all levels, including investing in the next generation of skilled labour.

This deal helps attract talent to the Thames Valley, but retaining the talent is also crucial. A key motivator for Stage Fifty pursuing this deal was the £6.8m investment by Frasers Property UK into Winnersh Triangle, which in 2021 saw the opening of two health-conscious cafes, a 17,000 sq. ft strength and conditioning gym, wellness studio, and a multi-purpose outdoor sports pitch.

Furthermore, this deal helps put the Thames Valley on the map as a destination for film & TV.

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission, said:
The announcement of the opening of Stage Fifty’s Winnersh Film Studios was brilliant news for the UK’s screen industries. Our industry is experiencing a phenomenal growth period. Indeed, the demand for content has never been greater, which in turn is driving the need for greater skills development and additional studio space, services and facilities. The creation of additional stage space capacity such as that at Winnersh Film Studios will help considerably in ensuring that the UK remains a global leader in international screen production.

Rupert Batho, Commercial Director at Frasers Property UK, said:
We agreed terms in November 2021. The sequencing for Phase 1 was required to meet the filming demands of MGM & Sony’s and focused on agreeing a 35-year ground lease at site 1100 for the stages together with a two-year ground lease at site 1040 for additional workshops. This was to enable bespoke stages to be built, together with the temporary workshop building. The phase 1 studios were built and operational in April 2022, involving a development programme of under 5 months. In parallel, asset management initiatives were completed to create pre and postproduction office space totalling over 50,000 sq ft and further workshops of 60,000 sq ft.”

Congratulations to all winners, nominees and thank you to all the sponsors and The Business Magazine for a great evening.

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