Teddington Studios is benefiting from more than£2m of investment on equipment and refurbishment in the next stage of its expansion, writes Sam Espensen.
Speaking exclusively to Broadcast, managing director Roger Morris said that although UK facilities "seem to be having a rough time in general at the moment, we're making quite a lot of money. According to our bank manager, we're bucking the trend."
Two years ago, industry speculation was rife about the possible closure of Teddington, which is owned by Barnes Trust Media (BTM). Morris commented that when BTM bought the studios from Pearson Television in 1997, Greg Dyke, who was chief executive at the time, advised them to "knock it down and build flats".
Morris added: "We then had a very bad couple of years. The studio business is tough, but management changes, investments, marketing and selling efforts are beginning to pay off. We try to get longer term, major live series in like Today with Des and Mel and Kilroy, and long-term clients like Thames and Fremantle."
Studios three and four will be ready by the end of the year. Morris revealed that studio three's investment comes as a result of a new contract with client Auction World, which recently signed a multimillion pound deal for facility and office provision over the next five years.
Another£250,000 has been ploughed into completely upgrading the Teddington restaurant, which became a personal project of Barnes Trust chief executive Simon Bowen, with further money going on a dedicated audience hospitality suite.
The updating and refurbishment of studios three and four is costing£2m. Included in that investment are 85 monitors, mainly from Ikegami, 20 Sony DigiBetas and Sony 9000 and 8000 mixers. Other new kit includes eight cameras from Ikegami with a mixture of J11 and J21 lenses, Yamaha 2000 audio mixers, an Aston Red character generator and a graphics system. Connectivity has also been expanded for more live input, with the installation of more than 20 broadcast lines by BT.