Save Twickenham Film Studios

Labour Party

Twickenham Film Studios where recent productions include Stephen Spielberg’s latest film, War Horse along with The Iron Lady and Calendar Girls (to name just a few) were produced, is under the threat of closure.

At a time when the British film industry is already suffering (following the closure of the UK Film Council last year) and needs as much support as it can get, this is not a good move. It is trying to compete against multi-million dollar imports from the United States, and the closure presents a further difficult situation for the British film industry.

Work at the Studios started to wind down last month when its administrators claimed it had not made any money for three years.

But film director Steven Spielberg has lent heavy weight support. And local supporters are hoping for a last minute reprieve.

Last Friday I visited the site to show my support with a group of hardy campaigners who are fighting to save the Studios.

One film editor there reminded me that there was a planned closure in 1963 but that the Beetles saved it after they filmed their hit Help!

I have taken the issue to the European Parliament and asked the Commission what it is prepared to do to support important studios like Twickenham, the bed rock of our film industry.

Here is my question to the Commission in full: “This studio has a long and illustrious history; it was used by the Beatles to film ‘A Hard Days Night’ and ‘Help’, as well as by Ridley Scott in the making of Blade Runner.

At a time when the film industry across Europe is struggling to compete with imports from the United States, it seems that we should be doing all we can to protect institutions such as Twickenham Studios.

What can the Commission do to help studios like Twickenham so that we can continue to make great films in Europe?”

You can see a BBC London news story is here.