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Sat August 08 2020

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Dagenham council approves its £110m studios plan

8 Jul Barking & Dagenham Council has approved plans to build London’s largest film studios on former industrial land in Dagenham.

PRP Architects' vision for Dagenham studios
PRP Architects' vision for Dagenham studios

The £110m development includes  six sound stages totalling 140,000 sq ft along with all the facilities required for filming a Hollywood-style blockbuster.

The plans were submitted by Be First, the Barking & Dagenham Council’s own regeneration organisation.

What happens yet has yet to be decided but the council said that the decision gave ‘momentum’ to discussions that Be First is having with potential interested parties to determine whether to: secure a joint venture agreement; sell the land with planning permission; or for Be First to build the studios and lease the site to an interested party.

Be First managing director Pat Hayes 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.”

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Council leader Darren 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.”

Lisa Dee, head of Barking & Dagenham’s film office, said: “Barking & 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 [yet to be released] – contributing to the £1.74bn 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.”

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