Mercian Studio at centre of huge NEC development

Steven Knight’s proposed Mercian international production studios will be part of a huge investment in developing the area around the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham.

The studios will form part of a major community which it is claimed will include 2,500 homes and generate 10,000 new jobs.

The development will include greatly improved transport links and, significantly, runs alongside a £500m upgrade of Birmingham International Airport.

Birmingham City Council leader, Ian Ward called it “a radical vision for the transformation of the NEC campus which will not only see the Midlands International appeal and global position strengthened but also bring huge economic benefits to our local communities.”

The announcement fits Peaky Blinders’ creator Knight’s vision of a studio that is not just a set of out-of-town warehouses but a living, breathing community,

In September, he told the annual meeting of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP: “What I’m proposing here is that in Birmingham, we do it properly.

“What I want to do is take advantage of what Birmingham is and how it functions. Shakespeare once said ‘what is a city but it’s people?’ And that’s what’s important to me and to the people that I’m working with to make this studio happen.”

Mercian Studios will be on a 20-acre site with six sound stage and post-production facilities.

MICHAEL Gubbins