Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight has revealed his vision for a new Birmingham film studio at the world’s largest investment show, MIPIM 2019.
The Birmingham-born screenwriter outlined his aims and objectives for the project, with a clear emphasis on creating a living, breathing community in a city close to his heart.
“The studio is going to be in Birmingham, an incredibly diverse city. Inevitably – and correctly – there’s going to be a diverse community within it.
“What I’m trying to create is not just a studio, but a neighbourhood. There’s going to be residential developments, bars and restaurants, cinemas and theatres. What I want to do is ensure that the studio reflects the community it’s in.
“I want it to be the greenest on earth. I want to ban plastic bottles, host bird sanctuaries on the roof, move all talent by electric cars. These are simple things. We’re pretty certain we can contribute to the national grid, not take away.
“If you have an internationally recognised creative centre, the world takes notice. People will see the movies made here all over the world.
“Birmingham always made things. It made cars, metal, jewellery. Now we’ll make film. It enters the consciousness of people around the world that this is being made in Birmingham.”
And there’s major scope, Steven says, to offer employment opportunities for local people:
“We’re working with the London film academy who are going to open a Birmingham film academy.
“They specialise in taking people with no experience in the film industry and training them. But it’s not just technical staff, it’s carpenters, electricians, a wide range of jobs.
“We’ll work with apprentices, making use of the local schools. There’s a massive appeal to young people to get involved with this. We can offer careers.”