Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the London-based visual effects and animatronics division, has been shut down with the loss of over 20 jobs. The Hollywood-based parent firm blamed the weak US dollar and the UK production environment.
Staff at the Camden-based division were notified of the closure at the end of last week. The firm said that it would no longer require full-time staff at its London base.
A statement from the Henson's US HQ said that its TV and film projects would not be affected and that the Creature Shop would continue to service third-party clients out of its LA and New York locations, as well as hiring crews in London on a project-by-project basis.
Peter Schube, president and coo of The Henson Company, said that the dollar's unfavorable exchange rate and the lack of any concrete tax incentives in the UK production market had led to the closure.
"Jim Henson's Creature Shop in London was founded on the highest standards of innovation and creativity, launching our worldwide facilities with those principles in mind. We are grateful to the UK film industry for its important place in our company's history and we are confident that it will remain a significant production centre for us," he said.