The UK must double its existing film and TV studio space by 2026 to cope with increased demand, research by Knight Frank shows.

It predicts an additional 6m sq ft of studio space is required following a boom in the industry over the past five years.

The demand comes as spending on UK film and television production rose to £5.6bn in 2021 from £2.8bn in 2016, a compound annual growth rate of 15%, driven by increased appetite for streaming services and content. By 2025, the Motion Picture Association forecasts there will be 1.6bn global online video subscriptions worldwide.

Knight Frank’s 2022 UK Film and TV Studio Market Report also revealed existing UK studios, including Pinewood, Shepperton, Elstree and Warner Bros (pictured) are booked out for years in advance, triggering a wave of plans for new studio space across the country. Data showed the number of planning consents for film studios has increased by 45% between 2018 and 2021, while applications are up 35%.

Hackman Capital Partners is currently developing Eastbrook Studios in Dagenham, London’s largest film and TV production centre, as well as investing further in Scotland and Ireland. Blackstone and Hudson Pacific Properties have also acquired a 91-acre site in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, where they plan to develop a major new production centre.

Meanwhile, on the occupier side, Netflix has recently signed for 230,000 sq ft of space at SEGRO Park Enfield and pledged to double the size of its production base at Shepperton Studios. Amazon has committed to 450,000 sq ft of facilities, also at Shepperton Studios. And Comcast, owner of Sky and NBC Universal, is building Sky Studios Elstree, Hertfordshire, in partnership with L&G, which is set to open later this year.

Freddie Owen, capital markets partner at Knight Frank, said: “Streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are taking longer leases on large sites, presenting opportunities not only for new development but also to convert well-located warehouses to production space for long-term use.”

Claire Williams, industrial and logistics research lead at Knight Frank, added: “The government’s Levelling Up agenda will incentivise further investment and TV and film production beyond the M25, opening up a spectrum of opportunity for property investment as well as business growth and investment.”