Warner Bros. will announce on Wednesday [10 Nov] the completion of its purchase of UK-based Leavesden studios and unveil plans for a $160m (£100m) re-building and expansion programme.

Having received planning permission from Three Rivers District Council and Watford Borough Council, Warner Bros. is set to re-develop the 170 acre site, situated 30km north-west of London.

With the acquisition of the new base, named Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, Warner Bros. has become the first Hollywood studio to have a permanent production base in UK.

Part of the revamp will include two new sound stages in which to display some of the iconic sets, costumes, creatures and props from Warner Bros.’ films shot in the UK.

The current 1,500 jobs at the studio will be boosted by the creation of around 300 more for building and specialist contractors.

Warner Bros. has used the studio facilities since 2000, including for the production of all eight Harry Potter films as well as other recent productions, including The Dark Knight and Inception.

Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. said: “For 86 years, Warner Bros. has been intrinsically involved in film production in the UK. Our purchase of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden and our multi-million pound investment in creating a state-of-the-art, permanent UK film production base further demonstrates our long-term commitment to, and confidence in, the skills and creativity of the UK film industry.”