Sky Studios Elstree,

The new state-of-the-art film and TV studio, Sky Studios Elstree, has been given the go-ahead, as work to clear the site looks set to begin

Sky Studios Elstree has received the green light to proceed with construction works following a unanimous decision last night (8 July) by Hertsmere Borough Council.

The project is a joint venture between Sky, NBCUniversal and Legal & General.

Legal & General will be financing and developing the scheme.

Work to clear the site ready for construction begins this month and will commence with strict safety and social distancing guidelines.

Building Sky Studios Elstree

Over the first five years of operation, it is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will generate up to an additional £3bn of production investment in the UK’s creative economy from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers

The final design for Sky Studios Elstree sees 12 sound stages on site, with the ability to merge together and sub-divide multiple sound stages simultaneously.

This means that the biggest sound stages on-site can now increase to cover 60,000 sq ft if needed or reduced to much smaller segregated studios, simultaneously providing Sky Studios and NBCUniversal a Covid-19-ready set up for the future.

The production facilities and digital suites on site will also be set up to facilitate remote working.

Sky Studios Elstree will become home to a host of Sky Originals, created by Sky Studios, as well as major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from Universal Studio Group.

It will also have the capacity to host productions from third-party producers.

Training & environmental opportunities

The construction phase of the build will contribute £230m to UK GDP in the period 2020-2021.

Sky Studios Elstree will lead to the creation of over 2,000 jobs in the local area, including 900 during the construction phase and 1,500 once the studio is operational.

In line with Sky and L&G’s commitment to becoming net-zero by 2030, it is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will become the most sustainable film and TV production site in the world when it opens in 2022.

As part of the design process, the businesses have actively looked at all sustainable development opportunities, with the project set to use reduced embodied carbon in construction.

It is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will have the capability to generate 20% of its own energy on-site through solar energy. No gas or fossil fuels will be used to power day-to-day operations and Sky will also harvest rainwater for use on-site.

Sky Studios will not allow any single-use plastics in Sky operations and has planned for how cast and crew will use the studio on a day-to-day basis, including green spaces and landscaping across the site.

Secretary of state for culture and MP for Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden, said: “The film and TV industry plays a vital role in the UK’s economy, with its programming keeping us informed, entertained and connected over the past few months.

“Sky Studios Elstree will become home to the best-loved films and TV shows of the future, championing British creativity on the global stage.

“It will also bring investment, jobs and opportunities to people across Hertsmere – cementing Elstree & Borehamwood’s reputation as ‘The British Hollywood’.”

Commitment to the UK’s cultural economy

Caroline Cooper, chief financial officer of Sky Studios, commented: “Even during challenging economic times, Sky Studios Elstree represents Sky’s continued commitment to the UK’s cultural economy, as well as our goal to recruit, train and develop the leading creative talent of tomorrow.

“Alongside our colleagues at NBCUniversal and our partners at Legal & General, we will create a world-leading production studio that will turbocharge Sky Studios’ plans to create even more award-winning Sky Originals for our customers.”

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said: “This is a critical investment for the UK’s bounce back. Landmark construction projects are rocket fuel for the economy and investing in our creative industries has never been more important.

“As a global leader, Sky attracts and retains the best talent, continuing to bolster the UK’s entertainment sector whilst driving job creation and economic growth.”

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