§ 11. Mr. William Shepherd
asked the President of the Board of Trade what percentage of British studio space is at present unoccupied; and what steps he is taking to bring this into use.
§ Mr. H. Wilson
I take it that the hon. Member is referring to film studios. The unoccupied percentage of the stage space at British studios suitable for the production of first feature films is just over 8 per cent. The question as to what early steps can be taken to bring this space into use 1398 is one which I hope to discuss next week at the first meeting of my Joint Council for the production section of the film industry. In consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am also exploring ways and means of affording improved access to finance for independent film producers.
§ Mr. Shepherd
Will the right hon. Gentleman, when he deals with that matter, also inquire into the extraordinary long time that films now occupy the floors of studios thereby holding up production and increasing costs?
§ Mr. Wilson
The hon. Member is quite right. I have already informed the House that one of the next things I want to look into is the general question of studio costs, which is closely bound up with this matter.