National Film And Television School (NFTS) Secures Government Support For Transformative Future Expansion Of Its Beaconsfield HQ

Cementing its status as one of the world’s leading film, television and games schools, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has been given a huge vote of confidence in today’s Spring Budget. The Government’s commitment, subject to business case, will contribute significantly towards the School’s £20 million plans to expand the footprint of Beaconsfield Studios, its home for the last 50 years.

The NFTS has long held ambitions to expand its current site in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The support will facilitate the School’s expansion plans to add an additional 25,000 sq. ft of cutting-edge new teaching space and follows the recent triumphs of the NFTS at the BAFTA Awards where student work Jellyfish and Lobster and Crab Day secured double wins for Best Short Film and Best Short Animation.

NFTS Exterior

Exterior of the NFTS in Beaconsfield

By strategically enlarging its presence, the NFTS seeks to build the future of film, television and games training through the following key initiatives:

New Course Provision:

Pioneering new courses will be introduced, placing research and development at the forefront of burgeoning fields such as AI, Games, Virtual and Real-Time Production. This strategic approach ensures the School remains at the vanguard of moving image storytelling, fostering further growth in student numbers and a dynamic exchange of knowledge with wider industry.

New Apprenticeship Centre:

Positioned at the heart of the NFTS, a state-of-the-art new training centre will emerge, dedicated to accelerating the growth of apprenticeship provision. This ambitious initiative aims to significantly boost the existing number of apprenticeship training offered in the UK, enhancing the School’s profound impact on the industry and acting as a catalyst for social mobility.

Accessible Student Accommodation:

While the NFTS has commendably advanced accessibility in teaching spaces, a critical gap persists in providing inclusive student accommodation. A ground-breaking initiative will see the development of up to 12 fully accessible student bedrooms on site at the NFTS, creating an environment where individuals with physical disabilities can seamlessly access the School’s facilities, furthering its commitment to inclusivity.

The projected additional £10 million will significantly further the School’s aims of propelling its work in the three pivotal areas listed above and ensure the NFTS futureproofs its position as a world-leading postgraduate specialist higher education institution.

NFTS alumni have gone on to win 14 Oscars and over 165 BAFTAs. Its graduates include BAFTA nominated Cinematographers Molly Manning Walker (How to Have Sex) and double Oscar winning Roger Deakins (1917), Producer Shirley O’Connor (Earth Mama), Sound Designer Tarn Willers (The Zone of Interest) creator of global Netflix hit Sex Education, Laurie Nunn and BAFTA winning director, Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here).

Sophie Turner Laing, NFTS Chair commented: “The School’s success in securing this vital funding will propel it towards a future of innovation and growth. However, this is just the beginning of the journey, with further support necessary to realise our ambitions for expansion. This funding will help shape the next chapter and reaffirms our commitment to ‘building the future’ and advancing the National Film and Television School’s globally renowned training within film, television and games education.”

Lord David Puttnam, NFTS President said: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence, not just in the NFTS but in the future of the British screen sector in its increasingly varied forms. The technologies that bring stories to the screen are developing at an incredible speed; but the need for those stories, and their ability to encourage societies to better understand one another and move forward cohesively, has never been greater. This much needed investment will allow Britain to continue to have an important voice in what’s already proving a tumultuous century.”  


Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and NFTS Board member said: “The NFTS provides a vital pipeline for the UK’s creative industries and this investment will make a real difference to future generations. The School is committed to training emerging creators and its expansion will significantly help grow those opportunities.”

Andrew Macdonald, Producer, co-founder of DNA Films (Trainspotting, Ex Machina, Civil War) and NFTS Board member said: “I’m delighted the Government is investing in the NFTS - no institution has done more to produce the people that power our industry, from writers and producers to cinematographers and composers. It’s vital the School continues to break new ground, teach new disciplines and make its courses even more accessible.”

Andy Harries, CEO of Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Behind Her Eyes, Misbehaviour) added: "As a long-time supporter of the National Film and Television School and its work, I am thrilled it will receive significant funding to help with expansion. The impact of this crucial support reaches beyond the present, laying the foundation for a vibrant and innovative future and ensuring generations of behind the camera talent and creative minds will thrive for years to come at the NFTS.”

Ben Roberts, Chief Executive of the BFI said: “The NFTS is regularly named one of the best film schools in the world and one of the reasons why the UK produces such extraordinary filmmakers. This is a very welcome investment in our future talent, and in particular it’s great to see the School’s focus on new technologies and creating more opportunities for apprentices.”

Key NFTS Stats: 

  •   The NFTS has been developing the next generation of talent for over 50 years and has built a reputation as a globally renowned production and talent powerhouse.

  •    The School has a graduate employment rate of over 90% and as the lifeblood of the screen sector’s workforce, it is at the forefront of providing high profile productions all over the globe with skilled crew. 

  •     Since it began in 1971, the NFTS has continued to develop some of Britain’s most significant and well-known creative visionaries, from directors, producers, screenwriters, model makers, visual effects specialists and composers to behind the camera artists and technicians.

  •     NFTS alumni have gone on to win 14 Oscars and over 165 BAFTAs. Its graduates include BAFTA nominated Cinematographers Molly Manning Walker (How to Have Sex) and double Oscar winning Roger Deakins (1917), Producer Shirley O’Connor (Earth Mama), Sound Designer Tarn Willers (The Zone of Interest) creator of global Netflix hit Sex Education, Laurie Nunn and BAFTA winning director, Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here).

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