London to Get First New Major Film Studio in a Quarter of a Century
The borough of Barking and Dagenham is set to be the site of London’s first new major film and television studio in 25 years, according to Barking and Dagenham council and City Hall.
The news comes just a little over a year after London mayor Sadiq Khan, Film London, the London Local Enterprise Panel, and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham joined forces to commission a study to see if Dagenham East would be an ideal location for a new studio. The study concluded that the area could accommodate the 125,000 square feet of stages that film and television markets prefer. Good transport links in that location would also be convenient for cast and crew members.
The next task is to find investors to back development of the site, which could span as much as 871,200 square feet.
The tender process, in which contractors bid to undertake construction and businesses look to operate in the space, will begin next year. The council’s regeneration company hopes that phased development will start by the end of 2018.
“London is a global capital for film - from Bond to Bridget Jones, and Star Wars to Paddington - our capital is world-renowned for its film industry and has at least 40 crews out on London’s streets filming every single day,” Khan said.
Khan’s hopes are that the new studio will put the UK in serious competition with Hollywood’s production of blockbusters, and for London to become the most film-friendly city in the world.
The Dagenham studio will be the first studio built in London since Three Mills. The borough itself has hosted Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Doctor Strange (2015), and the popular television series Black Mirror (2011) and Liar (2017).
As the third busiest city for film production worldwide, London covers 75 percent of all film production in the UK. In 2016, a record £1.6 billion was spent on UK film production. However, this new studio has the potential to bring in £35 million a year for the UK’s economy with the possibility to create as many as 780 full-time jobs.
Currently, the UK is home to major studios such as Elstree, in Borehamwood, and Pinewood, in Buckinghamshire. The latter of which is where the Star Wars franchise is based. Pinewood is also looking to expand to keep up with increasing demands of the industry.