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Paul Greengrass urges U.K. officials to step in over failed studio expansion plans

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May 18, 2013 | 9:04am EDT

British director Paul Greengrass has urged officials in the U.K. to intervene after plans to expand the iconic Pinewood Studios were rejected, insisting it is in the "national interest" of the country to boost the movie industry. Bosses at the facility, where the James Bond films are shot, had proposed a $310 million (£200 million) scheme to extend the studios onto nearby land in Buckinghamshire, England and warned the work was necessary if Britain was to attract big productions in the future. Officials at South Buckinghamshire District Council turned down the plans on Wednesday (15May13), but The Bourne Supremacy moviemaker Greengrass has urged them to reconsider their decision. He tells the London Evening Standard, "We have to make strategic decisions for the economy and for generations to come. It's not about special treatment... It's an economic issue. We're not over-blessed with industries that create jobs and are global players. Our film industry is one of those. Film production in Britain is at bursting point. They're having to turn business away. Pinewood is the perfect site to expand. "It has been going for more than half (a) century, it is close to London and an airport. Where else is there? We can't put film studios in central London. Expansion at Pinewood would create growth, create jobs and opportunity for young people. "What does it say to the world about one of our major industries if we don't support growth? Are we in such a strong position that we can say no to up to 4,000 jobs? I don't think so. We simply can't afford not to support something when it is clearly in the national interest."

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