Barking and Dagenham Council leader Darren Rodwell has announced US-based Pacifica Ventures as the preferred bidder for the largest film studios to be built in London for decades.
The decision was confirmed at a busy post-MIPIM launch of the 10th issue of BOLD magazine, which focuses on the borough's ongoing regeneration projects.
The studios will be developed in partnership with private equity investment fund Media Content Capital (MCC) on a nine-hectare site in Dagenham following a two-month bidding tender process held by the council’s wholly owned regeneration company, Be First.
Held at the Londoneast-uk business park in Dagenham on 22 March, 108 delegates including council members, developers and consultants came to hear about the film studio bid and other regeneration opportunities in the borough.
Speaking exclusively to BOLD, Rodwell highlighted why he believed Dagenham is a good location for the studios: “What we’re trying to do with this site is to make it a new way for the industry to deliver film in the UK; that means gender equality and people from diverse backgrounds having the opportunity to get into film-making, media and TV.
"We are the only site in London, within the M25, where you have data, media and science in one location, with great connection links whether it be in road or rail."
Speakers at the event included the CEO of Film London, Adrian Wootton OBE; managing director of Be First, Pat Hayes; and artistic director of Barking-based creative arts programme Studio3 Arts, Liza Vallance.
Hayes set out his vision for Be First: "We have demonstrated, by getting Pacifica into the borough, that you can aim for the best, aim for the top – that is what we want to do.
"We want to be the best development company in the country, and we want to work with the best developers, the best architects and everybody else, to start to deliver a quality product for Barking and Dagenham."
Subject to detailed negotiations and exchange of contracts with Pacifica Ventures and MCC, it is expected that construction of the media and TV complex will start in 2019.
The studio plans include 12 sound stages covering 24,526sq m, workshops and warehouses for lighting and grip operations, and at least 8,825sq m of production office space, with post-production suites and educational spaces.
There will also be a large-screen theatre auditorium, event centre and retail and dining outlets for tourists.
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