the largest film studio & media hub in the SOUTHern hemisphere

This creative media hub will offer film and television producers from all over the world.

A proposed application to create a Film & Creative Media Hub comprising film stages and associated workshops and office space; with ancillary uses including equipment stores, café, post-production screening facility, together with associated access, decked and surface parking and landscaping.

Xillo Studios is preparing to embark on a design & construction of a film studio within the Swartland District on 150-hectares of land that will significantly enhance the Western Cape industries by providing approximately 1,000,000 square feet of filming sound stages thereby helping to satisfy the substantial excess demand for film and television production within South Africa. In addition to supporting workshops, offices and external filming space, Xillo Studios will provide facilities for co-location of key associated businesses such as digital post- production, artificial intelligence and special computer graphic effects. Xillo Studios will therefore be at the forefront of the Film Industry, technology and creative services and will develop on the ethos of innovative thinking and pioneering technology.

Over the past 5 years, the creative industries sector has been the fastest growing in the world, we need to ensure that South Africa does not get left behind and ensure that we protect the creative capital of South Africa by showcasing our country and the industry as a world-class destination. While also putting into place a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout South Africa.

However, despite South Africa’s success in attracting productions, there is emerging evidence to suggest that the supply of both modern studio space is not fully in-step with demand which is aligned with the global shortage in stage space capacity. It is therefore apparent that for this industry to continue to grow there is a need for the further supply of studio and associated creative industries space.

The application proposal is to develop approximately 2000,000 square feet of film sound stage space, workshops with associated facilities to provide space for businesses including leading digital and visual effects businesses and lighting, materials and equipment suppliers, office space, a café and a post-production building with screening auditorium and flexible meeting space together with associated access and landscaping.

As a part of their imaginative and innovative approach to production content, the businesses at Xillo Studios will develop new products, that have an innovative or technology base. Xillo Studios will therefore not only develop new products that have an innovative or technology base, but will also encourage active collaboration between knowledge-based companies to develop new innovative products.
The primary occupiers will be film and TV production companies making original creative moving image content.

As a part of their imaginative and innovative approach to production content, the businesses at Xillo Studios will develop new products, that have an innovative or
technology base. Xillo Studios will therefore not only develop new products that have an innovative or technology base, but will also encourage active collaboration between knowledge-based companies to develop new innovative products.

Furthermore, many of the businesses that will be based at Xillo Studios will actively support and encourage the innovation environment at Xillo Studios. This variety of businesses will therefore create a unique skill base at Xillo Studios including production management, production design, art direction, set construction, special effects, sound recording, sound editing, mixing and picture editing.

The operators of Xillo Studios together with the occupiers will also collaborate closely with the Universities in helping to support and develop its media and related courses, across a broad spectrum of skills including digital technologies and practical apprenticeships, so that the University is able to build its position as one of the South Africa’s most renowned providers within the creative media sector.

New Site Location
In order to achieve the necessary scale, and also with realising the strain that urbanisation is putting on our current metros it makes sense to start expanding outside of the metros into neighbouring districts where one can look at starting to spread the population over a greater area.

Stakeholder Benefits

Development at Xillo Studios will bring considerable benefit to a wide variety of stakeholders. Construction is estimated to cost in excess of R600m creating several thousand direct and indirect jobs, which include directors, producers, camera operators, costume designers, make-up artists, sound engineers, carpenters, plasterers, electricians as roles directly employed by production on site. But, in the wider community, there will be some indirect jobs created for taxi drivers, travel agents, scaffold suppliers, timber companies, media design, 3D scanning, 3D printing, CNC crafts.

The new studios will also create at least $1m of inward production investment to South Africa every year. In addition to creating significant local authority tax revenues, the internationally renowned clientele and state of the art facilities will bring a sense of pride and vitality to the local area. As such, Xillo Studios requires the full support of government, municipalities, universities, businesses and the community.

Xillo Studios will aim to develop the site with focus on environmental sustainability, utilising solar and other natural energy sources and sustainable and eco-friendly materials.

Xillo is also eager to support the schools with its exciting plans to enhance local community amenities. Some initial thoughts as to the community benefits which could be provided include:

  • An on-site screening facility which whilst primarily for post-production operational work could be used to screen the latest releases, support local film clubs and to be used by local theatrical groups.
  • A café forms part of the screening facility and this could encourage local people to use the site.
  • Open days, workshops and talks could be provided to the local community.
  • Proactive engagement with local events and organisations.

The application site is required to deliver development whilst retaining the existing key landscape features that are present, as well as enhancing characteristic elements of the area.

The existing vegetation on the site provides a long term benefit to landscape character as well as ecological functionality.

Development of the Site would sensitively incorporate the retention and enhancement of strong landscape features that are characteristic of the local area.

Xillo Studio supports the growth and development of innovative, knowledge and technology-based organisations particularly those businesses that seek to exchange ideas and collaborate with each other. The development of Xillo Studios is a key driver in improving skills, productivity and competition in a rapidly changing global economy, and is establishing and promoting a significant innovation cluster which has the ability to create synergies and links to key industries with relevance at a national, regional and local level.

Planning Context

Xillo is committed to creating a sustainable legacy that is a destination in its own right. At the heart of this vision, is the creation of an Innovations Hub which will be centred around the key areas of expertise including Film & Television, Heritage and the Arts, Health & Life Sciences and Innovation & Technology.

Xillo Studios Creative Media Hub which will see approximately 30 buildings of stage spaces, workshops, storage and production offices which will present a unique opportunity to support and grow the creative industry in South Africa, and contribute to innovation, enterprise and investment in the area.

Over the past 5 years, the rapid growth in consumer demand for online film and video has given rise to a significant excess in global demand for sound stage filming facilities. The closure of most of the world’s sound stage facilities during the past 12 months due to the pandemic has created an even greater backlog in filming schedules. South Africa should be viewed as one of the more desirable locations to meet a considerable part of this backlog.


Get your registration in early for Virtual Project Briefing.

Project Briefing closes 15 December 2022

or until suitable Built Environment Professionals or found.

We really are excited in seeing the full potential of the site.

For more information, make certain you register your skills to be part of this exciting project.

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  • And other service providers as may  be deemed necessary.