Coming soon! Made in Dagenham studios

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Our plans to build new film studios on the former Sanofi site at Dagenham East are developing fast.

We are proposing to build London’s largest film studios for 25 years on the 18 acre site.

Our aim is bring hundreds of new jobs to the area – from carpenters to camera crew – and to bring big Hollywood blockbusters to Barking and Dagenham. We will capitalise on our successful work to bring the film industries to the borough.

But, for the development to be a success we need the views of local residents.

Get a preview of our plans!

Take a look at the plans here, and read our report to the planning committee here.

We thank everyone who contributed to our consultation exercise in February. We hope that your views and suggestions are reflected in our final report to the planning committee.

Our plans to build new film studios on the former Sanofi site at Dagenham East are developing fast.

We are proposing to build London’s largest film studios for 25 years on the 18 acre site.

Our aim is bring hundreds of new jobs to the area – from carpenters to camera crew – and to bring big Hollywood blockbusters to Barking and Dagenham. We will capitalise on our successful work to bring the film industries to the borough.

But, for the development to be a success we need the views of local residents.

Get a preview of our plans!

Take a look at the plans here, and read our report to the planning committee here.

We thank everyone who contributed to our consultation exercise in February. We hope that your views and suggestions are reflected in our final report to the planning committee.

  • Movies will be made in Dagenham

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    Barking and Dagenham Council today (3 November) signed an agreement with global media real estate leader Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) to build London’s largest film and TV production centre in Dagenham.

    Eastbrook Studios London will be the capital’s largest studio campus. The project comes with planning permission, and HCP’s ambitious plans include up to 12 sound stages, three acres of backlot, offices and ancillary space, totalling over half a million square feet.

    HCP’s hundreds of millions in direct investment will also involve an endowment to maximise local jobs, placements, apprenticeships, community outreach and supply chain opportunities.

    You can see the announcement here.

    The studios will be a major boost for the borough, the entertainment industry and the capital, creating an estimated 1,200 jobs, contributing £35m per year to the local economy and inspiring more development into thriving East London. The capital has a hugely successful film and TV industry and, with more than £3.6bn spent in the UK last year on film and high end television production, it will play a key role in London’s economic recovery. Following work by Film London and the British Film Commission to help the industry through the pandemic, it is currently estimated that over 85 per cent of film and TV production is running again, supporting more than 100,000 jobs, with the majority in London and the South East.

    The UK is one of the most sought after countries in the world for major feature film and high-end television production. The Dagenham site will add much needed sound stage capacity to the overall industry.

    Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “Today we’re making history. Dagenham used to be famous for factories and Fords but in the future, we will be equally famous for making films. It’s not for the glamour or glory. It’s about bringing in thousands of jobs, providing education and training opportunities for local young people, and giving people hope in these gloomy Covid times.

    “So, I am hugely proud to announce HCP as our partner. They are the right people at the right time. It’s the ‘reel deal’ for our borough, London and the UK. Movies will be Made in Dagenham.”

    Michael Hackman, CEO Hackman Capital Partners, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Councillor Rodwell and his team to bring this exciting project to fruition. Together with the diverse and talented people of Barking and Dagenham, our investment will help write the script for the next iteration of ‘Made in Dagenham’”.

    Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said: “This is a very special moment for Dagenham, our capital and all those who have been working hard to realise this bold vision of bringing new world-class film studios to East London. It is a very significant investment and boost to our economy that will create 1,200 jobs, inspire further development and creative opportunities, and secure our position as a global capital for film and TV. We are already seeing that the success of this industry will help our economy to recover from the impact of the pandemic, and these studios will play a key role in our city’s future.”

    Jason Hariton, Chief Real Estate Officer, The MBS Group, said: “These new world-class production facilities in East London will quickly deliver significant and necessary additional infrastructure to meet the demands of the UK’s booming creative industries, while creating generational opportunities for the local community.”

    Claire Symonds, Acting Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “We’re thrilled to take another step closer to bringing this new film studio to life. We’re really looking forward to welcoming HCP to the borough and working with them to make this a reality. When we took the decision to set up our pioneering urban regeneration company, Be First, to accelerate the pace of growth in the borough, it was precisely this kind of transformative project that we wanted them to deliver with us and the private sector. There’s no doubt that welcoming a world-class film studio to Dagenham East will support the long-term success of the UK’s booming film and TV production industries. The studio will not only boost our local economy, benefiting local people by creating 1,200 much needed jobs, it is also expected to pump £35 million a year back into the UK economy.”

    Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration arm, said: Having received some really strong bids from very experienced parties in the industry, we decided “Hackman Capital Partner’s proven, track record, global reach and strong relationships with major content providers made them the outstanding choice. HCP not only understand our desire to build world class studios in Dagenham they also understand their social responsibilities with their commitment to work with the community to create quality jobs and opportunities for local people.”

    Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “This investment is fantastic news for the screens sector, for east London and for the UK. It’s a real vote of confidence in our industry’s ability to return to the growth we saw prior to the pandemic and exceed it in coming years. With our industry COVID Guidance in place, over 85% of high-end UK productions are safely starting up again, creating the outstanding content audiences are craving. Hackman Capital Partners bring extensive industry expertise of building and running studios around the world and will be a significant additional asset to the UK Film and TV infrastructure ecosystem. Today’s announcement is proof that the private investment climate is resilient and bold decisions such as this will further bolster London and the UK’s world-class studio offer, supporting economic growth and creating new jobs.”

    The site will be leased to HCP on a 250-year basis. Building work is set to start next year and filming could start as early as mid-2022 with the studio fully operational by 2023.

  • Lights, camera, action!

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    We’re a step closer to seeing plans to build London’s largest film studios in Dagenham become a reality and there’s more exciting news we want to share with you. That’s why we’re inviting you to our big virtual reveal via live stream on Tuesday 3 November,10am, at www.lbbd.gov.uk/made-in-dagenham - you won't want to miss it!

    But before then, we want to hear from you.

    If you have a question you’d like to ask relating to the film studios, now’s the time to ask it. Whether it’s a question around jobs and how to access them, how you can contribute to the film and tv industry supply chain, or simply what the studios will mean for budding talent in the borough, we’ll be answering as many of these as we can during our virtual event. Please send in your questions by midday on Friday 30 October.

    Ask your question here.

    The brand-new studios include plans for six world class sound stages, set construction workshops, post-production offices and hair and make-up spaces on the whopping 22-acre site.

    The studios will not only bring a taste of Hollywood to the borough, they’re also set to bring an estimated 1,200 jobs and educational opportunities for local people.

    We look forward to seeing you at the live virtual event on Tuesday 3 November, as we mark another huge milestone in the picture perfect Made in Dagenham film studio journey.

  • Dagenham studios given the go-ahead

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    Plans to build London’s largest film studios on former industrial land in Dagenham were approved at a meeting of Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee last night.

    Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council hailed the decision as ‘momentous’.

    He said: “This is a huge decision for the borough. It gives the green light to what will be London’s largest film studios, so it’s a major milestone in the renewal of a part of London badly hit by de-industrialisation and austerity.

    “The new Dagenham studios sit alongside one of the largest data centres in the UK and the UCL’s innovative PEARL project, and there are also plans to relocate the City of London’s wholesale markets to a site nearby. This will mean thousands of jobs and educational opportunities for local people.

    “So, where once Dagenham was known for Ford’s and factories, we will be making films and a new bright new future for our borough and its residents.”

    The plans for the film studios feature:

    • six world class sound stages totalling c.140,000 sqft (1x 30,000 sqft and 5x 22,000 sqft)
    • flexible accommodation adjacent to the sound stages for uses such as production offices, hair and makeup or dressing rooms
    • conversion of two existing buildings into workshops for set construction and associated industry users
    • a landmark office building for the pre and post production alongside space for associated creative industry businesses
    • an estimated 1,200 jobs are projected to be created in the studios and associated supply chain, and
    • key sustainability measures incorporated within the design including green roofs

    Meeting online, the Council’s planning committee agreed the reasons for approval and delegated to grant planning permission subject to any direction from the Mayor of London and the completion of a Unilateral Undertaking under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

    Last night’s decision gives significant momentum to the discussions Be First is having, on behalf of the council, with potential interested parties to determine whether to secure a joint venture agreement, a land sale or for Be First to build the studios and lease the site to an interested party.

    Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First said: “We’ve had a great deal of interest in the site and with planning permission secured the interest will intensify. With the ever growing demand for studio space in the UK, we’re in a very good position to take this project forward.”

    Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "I am delighted to see Dagenham studios get the green light. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK screen industries were enjoying an exceptional boom time and we’re committed to driving the sector’s recovery. Following our publication of the UK’s British Film Commission production guidance, as we get back to work safely and production starts shooting again, I am confident that we shall return to that level of growth, and exceed it, in coming years.

    “So, it’s crucial we continue to develop our world-class infrastructure. This cutting-edge proposal will further bolster London's studio offer, supporting economic growth and creating new jobs. It’s important for Dagenham, it’s compelling for London and it’s a significant addition to the UK’s world-leading film and TV sector.”

    Lisa Dee, Head of Film LBBD, said: “Barking and Dagenham is already a magnet for movie makers. Two of the UK's biggest features were filmed in Dagenham last year - Black Widow by Marvel and Morbius by Sony Pictures (to be released) - contributing to the £1.742 billion total UK inward investment from feature films for last year.

    “And, as London is moving a lot of work east, we are finding more crew and production workers are living in east, south-east and north London areas, so we’re on their doorstep, which makes Dagenham studios a great geographical fit for the existing and the next generation of crew and creatives.”

    An aerial view and computer generated image of the site, together with a comment from Cllr Darren Rodwell, is available here.

    Ends

  • London’s Hollywood on track

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    New designs for the Dagenham Studios were unveiled today as part of a planning application to transform a former factory site into London’s Hollywood.

    After consultation with local residents, the plans were submitted by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration organisation, and they are expected to be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee in July this year.

    Councillor, Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “This is a crucial stage in our ambition to make Dagenham London’s Hollywood. Our dream of making the area as famous for films as it was for Fords is very much on track.

    “The new studios will be a game-changer in bringing thousands of jobs to Dagenham.

    “Dagenham is already becoming known as a new hotspot for digital and knowledge-based industries with a huge data centre under construction and the UCL PEARL research centre set to be built just a stone’s throw away from the studios’ site. It’s another sign that Dagenham’s star is rising.”

    Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “Our Consultancy Team has worked hard to submit exciting plans for what will be the most modern and largest studios to be built in the capital in the last 25 years.

    “Given the high demand for studio space in the UK, I am confident that ambitious movie makers, production companies and studio operators will be very attracted by these proposals.”

    The plans feature:
    • six large sound stages – equivalent to 140,000 sq ft
    • 85,200 sq ft of offices, and
    • 174,500 sq ft of workshops
    • Designs are made to a high environmental standard

    Further comments here.


  • Thank you for your views

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    Thank you to everyone who attended our drop-in consultation held at LondonEast on 25 February and for all your feedback. We were overwhelmed by your responses.

    Our survey is now closed and we are considering all your feedback. We will use this to inform our plans. We expect to formally submit a planning application in early March.

    You can still see the information we presented at the drop-in event here.


Page last updated: 07 July 2020, 00:58