Could Colin Firth Save Twickenham Studios from Developers?
War Horse Film Studio petition signed by Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Terry Jones as momentum gathers pace.
The battle to save Twickenham Film Studios from property developers Taylor Wimpey has been gathering momentum, as the creditors moved closer to a deal to sell the land belonging to the bankrupt Studios and turn it into new luxury homes and businesses. Regional land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey,David Brown, said: “Taylor Wimpey and the current owners of Twickenham Film Studios are exploring the potential for the site to be redeveloped for a mixed use scheme, providing employment space alongside a mixture of residential dwellings.”
Industry insiders worldwide along with local residents have launched a petition and campaign which is set to scupper or at least make the plans of the grey suited opportunists at Wimpey, a little more difficult. The online petition was created by post-production supervisor, Maria Walker, an employee working as a freelancer at the studios, for 28 years. It already has over 2000 signatures which reads like a Hollywood who's Who and includes such notables as, Steven Spielberg,who shot part of War Horse at the studios, David Cronenberg, Stephen Daldry, Colin Firth, Terry Gilliam, Kevin Macdonald, Michael Apted, John Landis, Terry Jones, David Barron, John Bloom, Peter Honess, Robin Sales and Peter Boyle. All have signed and more big names are coming on board daily.
Local Councillor Chris Harrison told residents that councillors were in favour of the studios remaining in business, but because they did not own the site, it had no power over who the studios are sold to.Twickenham has now written to MP Vince Cable and Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt to discuss the situation. Harrison added “A change of use to mixed use will put further pressure on already stretched local amenities and would destroy a world-renowned institution at a time when the government is actively seeking overseas investment in the British film industry and its facilities.
The petition states;" We have no time to waste! Twickenham Film studios has gone into administration and word has it that property developers are moving in. Please sign our petition to help stop the developers in their tracks!! We don't need more executive homes! Twickenham has been at the forefront of the British film industry for 99 years - let's help it make to 100 and beyond. Spread the word.... Re-tweet and post on your Facebook. We need to get this out to as many people as possible. Films like The Iron Lady, War Horse, Ghandi, Italian Job, Shirley Valentine, Help, Hard Day's Night, An American Werewolf in London and many many more have been made here. It's a National Treasure"!!