Cain International

10th May 2022

Cain provides £261.5 million loan for nearly 1m sq ft production facility campus near Reading

London, England, 10 May 2022 – Cain International (‘Cain’), the privately held investment firm, has agreed a £261.5 million development loan with Shinfield Studios for what will be one of the UK’s largest film and television production facilities.

The loan will support the development of a film and television production campus that will comprise a total of 942,548 sq ft, including 18 soundstages across more than 437,000 sq ft as well as 192,329 sq ft of office accommodation, 265,511 sq ft of workshop space, and ancillary space. To date, four soundstages have been completed and are fully let to a large production company (as reported here), with the remainder of the project scheduled to deliver in phases beginning in the first quarter of next year.

Shinfield Studios is the first UK outpost of BGP HoldCo LLC, a global soundstage platform controlled by affiliates of Los Angeles-based Commonwealth Asset Management.  Currently doing business under the Blackhall Studios banner, the platform operates an 850,000 sf, nine soundstage production campus in Atlanta, GA that has been home to such blockbuster features as ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’, ‘Jungle Cruise’ and ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’.  In addition, the BGP platform is simultaneously developing approximately 2.5 million square feet of additional production space across two purpose-built studio campuses in Atlanta, Georgia and Los Angeles, California USA.  Upon completion of these development projects, Blackhall Studios will own and operate a portfolio of properties that boasts 64 soundstages and over 4.2 million square feet of lettable area, making it one of the largest operators in the sector.

Delivering in phases between early next year and the third quarter of 2024, Shinfield Studios will be located near Reading and is set to serve rapidly expanding market demand. Streaming companies’ production spending has been on a consistent upward trajectory in recent years, with 2019’s record total being 85% higher than five years earlier. In 2021, Lambert Smith Hampton forecasted an estimated shortfall of supply of 2.3 million sq ft.

Matteo Milan, Principal – Real Estate Finance at Cain International, said: “With the UK’s creative industries having grown three times as fast as the wider economy between 2010 and 2018, and the pandemic accelerating trends towards online streaming exponentially, we are entering a fascinating moment for this market. Cain’s loan book has grown significantly in the past 18 months across a range of geographies and asset classes and we are continually striving to find the very best projects in the market. Having the appetite and drive to reach new markets, a collaborative approach, and the expertise to make the most of unique opportunities, we look forward to expanding Cain’s footprint in this sector and others in the near future.”

Peter Rumbold, CEO of BGP HoldCo LLC and Managing Director of Real Estate at Commonwealth Asset Management said: “We are thrilled to partner with Cain International to deliver more of the much needed critical infrastructure necessary to support the increasing expansion of film and television production in the UK.  A hallmark of our approach is to develop first class, purpose-built production hubs in key global markets to quickly and efficiently meet our customers’ needs.  Completing the first phase of Shinfield Studios in under a year was a remarkable achievement by our team and we are looking forward to delivering the next phase of the project early next year.”

Nick Smith and Ian Johnson, Joint Managing Directors, Shinfield Studios said: “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art media hub in the heart of Berkshire which offers easy accessibility to London and the rich pool of production talent working in the South-East of England today. Throughout our journey we have received incredible encouragement and support from Wokingham Council and the local community. With the first four sound stages up and running and a further five under construction, we are well on our way to achieving this ambition.”

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