Original ‘Star Wars’ Studio Elstree at risk over funding shortages

A report into Elstree Film Studios, best known for the original ‘Star Wars’ films, needs between £150 million to £200 million (up to $256 million) to carry out major building repairs.

The report, “Procurement of a Consultant – Elstree Film Studios Strategic Future – Way Forward” highlighted the extent of the repairs needed, like the floors, windows, electrical wiring and upgrading the IT systems.

It also said that Hertsmere Borough Council, which acquired the studios in 1996, cannot continue to invest in the studio.

The council instead states they can commit to investing £90,000 in consultancy fees to find a “way forward.”

The studio generates 20% of the council’s revenue budget, with the report stressing that the council should diversify investments to lessen the risks to local taxpayers.

Some of the options that are on the table are seeking external investors, leasing the studio out, or even re-developing the site.

The site is worth between £40 million to £100 million depending on its use, while the Elstree Film Studios brand is “worth a substantial sum.”

Hertsmere Borough Council will discuss the report next Wednesday.

Last summer, asbestos was found in three of the soundstages, which required treatment.

The contractor also reported that some of the roofs and walls were in a “dangerous” way, with some of the concrete beams dating to the 1960s and ‘80s already snapped.

Elstree Studios was founded in 1925 and is located just outside London.

Two of the lots are named after George Lucas, as he shot scenes from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ at the studios.

Other productions include high-end dramas like ‘The Crown’ and ‘Gangs of London.’

Kieran Burt

My name is Kieran and I am based in the UK. I love writing about all things science fiction and fantasy, particularly Star Wars and Marvel. When I’m not writing or watching anything sci-fi related, you can probably find me exploring the open worlds of alternate lands through my Xbox.

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