It’s official - Pinewood Studios is definitely coming to Fayette County.
On Monday, the studio announced that Pinewood Sherpperton plc and River’s Rock LLC combined in a joint venture to be named Pinewood Atlanta, a full service film and entertainment studio complex comprised of five sound stages
on 288 acres in Fayetteville.
Ivan Dunleavy, Pinewood CEO, said: “Today’s agreement is another step forward for the Pinewood brand internationally. This new studio will target US productions. Georgia has excellent fiscal and tax credit incentives as well as a great crew base. With River’s Rock we have a well resourced partner that is committed to building a first class studio facility.”
The project is fully funded and will become a world-class studio for the production of film, television, music and video games.
Jim Pace, Managing Partner, River’s Rock LLC said: “We are tremendously excited to be creating a world class studio in the State of Georgia and are looking forward to working with Pinewood in the many years to come. The Pinewood brand is so well recognized in the global film industry and together there is a great opportunity to build an excellent facility that will attract the very best producers.”
Phase I of the purpose built studio project will initially feature five stages totalling 100,000 square feet with another
100,000 square feet in production offices and 200,000 square feet in workshops and service provider space. Additional
growth phases will include a vocational job skills training component that will produce a qualified workforce to fill the hundreds of new jobs that will be created at the studio. Details on the academic component of the project are forthcoming.
“We are delighted to have film powerhouse Pinewood Studios in Fayette County. Their 80-year reputation of film and television excellence and our outstanding quality of life are a superb match,” said Fayette County Commission Chairman Steve Brown,
Phases II and III for the Pinewood Atlanta film and entertainment complex consist of an additional 600,000 square
feet of stages over 70 acres of additional managed back lot space, additional office and warehouse space for production
companies and service providers, as well as the educational component encompassing up to 74 acres.
The direct economic benefits of film production in the State of Georgia came to nearly $3.1 billion in 2012 and positively
impacted thousands of businesses, from hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and rental car companies to hardware
stores, lumber yards, garden nurseries, heavy equipment rentals and office supply companies. An independent economic study based on Georgia Tech’s LOCI economic impact model indicates as many as 3,400 direct jobs will be created at Pinewood Atlanta with Phase I creating a direct financial impact of $10.4 million to Fayette County. Depending on finalization of future plans, the Phase II and III annual economic impact is forecast to be as much as $378 million per year.
“As the U.S. Representative for this area, I feel one of my most important duties is to create a setting that fosters economic development and brings good paying jobs to our citizens. This venture promises to do just that. This is an exciting time for the film industry in Georgia.
Our governor and state legislature are committed not only to maintaining competitive tax incentives to attract the industry, but to help educate and develop the skills of dedicated men and women that will make these companies want to stay for the long term,” said Third District U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland.
River’s Rock LLC is a locally based group of private investors. The land and studio construction costs will be fully
funded by equity from River’s Rock LLC and a debt facility from Synovus Bank. The business will operate under the
Pinewood trademark and Pinewood will receive a portion of the shareholding in the joint venture. Pinewood, known
worldwide for the “James Bond” productions, will provide the joint venture with sales and marketing services.
Pinewood Atlanta will allow producers access to attractive fiscal incentives from the State of Georgia, within a conveniently
located, secure hub in the USA for productions to base themselves. Construction is expected to commence
immediately, with the first production scheduled to occupy the initial five stages in January 2014.