Spain’s Secuoya Studios has teamed with publishing giant the Planeta Group to expand Madrid Content City, the audiovisual complex that hosts Netflix first European Production Hub.
Madrid Content City will multiply by a factor of seven its current operating area of 22,000 square-meters (236,806 square-feet). In total, Madrid Content City will span 140,000 square-meters (1.5 million square-feet), becoming the second biggest film-TV production hub in Europe after the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios.
Set in Tres Cantos, a satellite village 20 minutes’ drive north of the Spanish capital, the second-phase of Madrid Content City will be constructed by early 2021.
It will add five new soundstages -one of 2,000 square-meters; four of 1,500 square-meters- to the current five now open, alongside production services, an university campus and catering and sports areas.
Operating in the Madrid Content City since September 2018, Netflix has filmed there hit series such as “Money Heist,” “Elite” and “Cable Girls.”
Secuoya’s project represents an investment of €120 million ($133,2 million), fully covered by private capital.
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“We have long believed that Spain was a great hub of international production, that needed to merge innovation, university and business,” said Secuoya president Raúl Berdonés Wednesday at a packed press conference in Tres Cantos.
“Now that Spanish fiction is experiencing its greatest moment in history, the time’s right to present this project,” he added.
The completed project will take in “every necessary thing to make Madrid the epicenter of the industry, and audiovisual, one of the engines of country’s development”, he said.
Citing a PriceWaterhouseCoopers study, Berdonés said Spain has taken “a giant leap.” From 2015 to 2018, Spanish TV fiction production grew 53%, generating a business volume of $744 million.
“The Spanish fiction boom is here to stay. Once consolidated, we believe that the audiovisual sector will contribute more than $962 million in the region of Madrid alone,” he commented.
Spain is attracting the attention of the international industry because of its cost-effective production offer, a depth in high profile creative and tech talent, nurtured for years on primetime TV dramas production for free-to-air broadcasters, the growing success of its TV series for global audiences, and big international shoots lured by varied and attractive locations and rebates.
A third-phase of the studios, which should be completed by fall 2021, will take in an universitary campus specialized in creation, management and audiovisual production, with the capacity to take in more than 7,000 students.
The campus will be created by the Planeta Group through its Training and University division.
“The concept is to convert Madrid Content Campus into an educational hub of international reference for audiovisual industry professionals,” said Carlos Giménez, CEO of Planeta Training and University.
The largest publishing company in the Spanish-speaking world, Planeta owns media conglom the Atresmedia Group, among other audiovisual interests.
Madrid Content City is promoted by Roots, a property development company managed by Berdonés and partner Pablo Jimeno.
Roots aims to bring this concept to other markets such as Colombia and Mexico, where it is “in talks with both companies from the audiovisual sector and public institutions,” Berdonés told Variety.
“Netflix, Planeta and Secuoya have bet on the project, but it is open to every production, services companies and any other member of the audiovisual industry that wants to incorporate into the available spaces,” Berdonés said.
“We are going to rent out [facilities] in the short, medium and long term to those who want to set up in the complex. They also have the possibility of investing into the real estate project,” he added.
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