FILM director Danny Boyle, pictured, has given his backing to £200 million plans to expand the famous Pinewood Studios.

A planning application was submitted yesterday to extend the Buckinghamshire centre, where many films and television programmes have been made, including the James Bond movies.

Boyle, a former pupil of Thornleigh Salesian College and director the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London, believes the new facilities are vital.

He said: “Many of the great British films which were showcased at the Olympic opening ceremony such as Oliver Twist, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Skyfall were produced at Pinewood.

“If we are, as a country, to capitalise on our film heritage then we need state-ofthe- art facilities like those which Pinewood is proposing to both attract major Hollywood films and nurture and bring on the next generation of young independent British film makers.”

The plans have also been supported by Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Gladiator, and Eric Fellner, who worked on Les Miserables.

If approved by South Bucks District Council, Pinewood Studios would have new studios and stages, workshops, production offices and streetscapes for filming.

The extension would cover an additional 100,000 sq m and 3,100 new jobs would be created.