Dagenham studios,

Plans to build London’s largest film studios, Dagenham studios, have been given the green light by Barking and Dagenham Council’s planning committee

The £110m plans for Dagenham studios include six world-class sound stages, flexible accommodation for uses such as production offices, hair and makeup or dressing rooms and the conversion of two existing buildings into workshops.

The studios’ proposals also include a landmark office building for the pre and post-production and key sustainability measures incorporated within the design including green roofs.

An estimated 1,200 jobs are projected to be created in the studios and associated supply chain.

Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, Be First, is currently seeking a development partner following Pacific Ventures’ withdrawal last year.

Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council hailed the decision as “momentous”.

Rodwell 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.”

Driving the UK screen industries recovery

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, commented: “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.”

Alistair Weir of PRP architects, added: “It’s enormously rewarding to see the application unanimously approved and I’m delighted that this helps the council take a significant step in delivering their aspirations for a world-class studio.”

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