Expected increase in demand presents opportunity for UK Film & TV market

Resurgence of film industry post-pandemic is driving need for more studio space

The UK Film & TV industry is anticipating the need for more studio space over the coming year to keep up with the continued growth in high-end TV (HETV) productions, according to the latest report from global real estate advisor, CBRE.

CBRE conducted a survey with 100 senior Film & TV industry professionals and found that 30% of respondents are expecting to see an increase in demand for Film & TV space, following a lull in activity during the pandemic. The data shows that 84% of respondents required the same amount or more real estate space this year, compared with last year to keep up with production growth and this trend is expected to continue with 40% of respondents envisaging an increase in the number of UK productions next year, which will result in further demand for space.

According to the report, 53% of respondents expect to use more studio space next year. On-set office space, broadcast studio space and conversion stage space is expected to see the greatest increase, with 88%, 82% and 81% of respondents respectively citing they expect to use more or the same amount of this type of space over the coming year.

Jennet Siebrits, Head of UK Research, CBRE

This rise in demand follows rapid growth in the sector following the growth of global video-on-demand platforms where global subscription revenues have nearly tripled since 2017 to £69bn. The UK has been a major benefactor of this growth and, in 2022, there were a total of 415 film and HETV projects produced in the UK. This buoyancy has continued into Q1 2023 with combined total spend on film and HETV hitting £922m from 88 productions.

Jennet Siebrits, Head of UK Research, CBRE

However, supply and demand imbalances are expected to remain an issue with 21% of respondents suggesting it will become more challenging to find suitable studio space and 56% expecting it to remain the same in the coming year. There are currently development proposals for 11.2 million sq ft in the pipeline, but CBRE expects only one scheme to be avaible in 2023, and so any stock is likely to be absorbed.

Furthermore, quality of space is problematic, with only half of respondesnts rating the quality of studio space good in the last year and 18% rating the quality as poor.

Simon Calvert, Senior Director and Studio Occupier Lead, CBRE commented: “There is a real need for developers to ensure that new studios which are in the pipeline reach the quality standards demanded by occupiers if the UK is to maintain its position on the global production stage. Developments which are not well located or do not provide suitable stages, production spaces and amenities risk being under occupied.”