Proposals to build new film studios in Dagenham have moved forward, with the councilís regeneration firm announcing new plans.
Be First, the authority’s regeneration arm, will design and seek planning permission for the development, to be built on more than 20 acres of the former Sanofi site in Dagenham East.
It will create design work, continue discussions with potential operators, investors and joint ventures and submit a planning application in 2020.
Pat Hayes, Be First’s managing director, explained the new plans will no longer include Pacifica Ventures, whose exclusivity period as a preferred bidder has elapsed.
He said: “We move on to the next stage in this exciting journey of making Dagenham as famous for films as it was for Fords.”
“Pacifica told us they were finding it difficult to deliver their plans due to uncertainty over the UK leaving the European Union.
“But what is not in doubt is the viability and demand for studio space in the UK which remains sky high, and that is why I am convinced there will be plenty of interest from parties who want to make sure movies will be Made in Dagenham.”
Councillor Darren Rodwell, Barking and Dagenham Council leader, said: “This is the next exciting stage in our ambition to build the largest studios in London for 25 years.
“If we get planning permission to build our Made in Dagenham studios, there are some exciting options – we could build them ourselves or we can work with any of the ambitious dynamic media companies who share our vision of making movies in what will be London’s Hollywood.”
Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “I’m delighted that the proposals to move forward with the designs for the Made in Dagenham studios have been agreed.
“UK film and high-end TV production is enjoying a sustained and exceptional boom time, contributing billions to the economy each year, and it is crucial that we capitalise on this by continuing to develop our world-class infrastructure and provide access to as much purpose built studio space as we possibly can.
“Our highly attractive tax reliefs remain unaffected by Brexit so for international productions coming to the UK it’s very much business as usual.
“We’re continuing to see a huge demand by major studios looking for the stability and security of a UK production base and we very much look forward to working with Be First and Barking & Dagenham on adding their exciting development to London’s studio offer, bringing benefits to East London, the capital and indeed the UK as a whole.”
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