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Warner Bros to invest £100m in Harry Potter studios

Filmmaker plans to develop permanent UK studio base, safeguarding 1,500 and creating 300 jobs.

Warner Bros announced on Monday that it has bought Britain's Leavesden Studios, home of the Harry Potter movies, and said it plans to invest £100m in the studios.

The filmmaker said further details will be announced on Wednesday, adding that it has plans to develop a permanent UK studio base, including a visitor centre for its movies such as Harry Potter.

The US-based company is looking to go for a major expansion of the studio located in Watford, north London, thus safeguarding the current workforce of 1,500 people, while creating 300 additional jobs.

The upgraded studios at the sprawling 170-acre site will be "probably the most technologically state-of-the-art studios in Europe" when they open in 2012. They will be able to host the production of two full-scale films simultaneously.

Josh Berger, the president and managing director of Warner Bros UK, Ireland and Spain, said "At a time when investment in the UK is critical, Warner Bros Studios Leavesden is a significant endorsement of the creative talent here in the UK."

"It will generate jobs, inward investment and interest in an industry that is respected the world over," he added.