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Hollywood helps London developers weather financial crisis

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The world of film is helping an increasing number of developers and landlords weather the economic crisis by opening the doors of vacant buildings in London and turning their offices into film sets.

A number of creative property consultants are listing vacant sites like the Walbrook building which has recently been used to shoot the latest film in the spoof spy series Johnny English but which, outside the world of film, has been empty for two years.

As well as being used for filming, sites can be equally as lucrative as venues for events and businesses. Large retail companies like Amazon, EBay and Google are hiring temporary retail space in central London locations and according to Reuters, London fashion week spent £10,000 hosting the Christopher Kane show at One New Change.

It is not just central London locations that are benefiting from this injection of funds. The new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises contains stunt sequences shot in an office block in Croydon, with the areas ‘dour’ 1960’s architecture doubling up as the infamous Gotham City.

In light of the 2012 Olympics, specific sites are also being hired for their views across the city and Olympic park. The Director of property consultancy firm Space-2 described a small patch of building by London Bridge often used for commuter shots as ‘the most valuable piece of real estate in London’.

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