Steven Spielberg, Sir Paul McCartney and Colin Firth are among the celebrities supporting a campaign to stop Twickenham Film Studios closing.

The studios were used in blockbusters War Horse and The Iron Lady and were also used for the Beatles’ films Help! and A Hard Day’s Night. But the studios, which occupy a two-and-a-half acre site, have failed to make money for the past three years.

So far resident Maria Walker has collected 3,769 signatures for her Save Twickenham Studios petition.

Sir Paul said: “I have many fond memories of working at Twickenham Studios. It’s a fine example of a British film studio and it would be a great loss if it were to have nothing more to do with the British film industry.”

Educating Rita actress Julie Walters has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable, who is the MP for Twickenham, appealing for him to step in.

She said in her email to the minister: “The closing down of these studios will give Hollywood one message that the British film industry is struggling, when it is not.”

London MEP Mary Honeyball has appealed to the European Commission to help on the grounds that it is important to keep the production of major films in Europe.

– from the Evening Standard - 27 March 2012