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Film London to lead study into major new studio complex in Dagenham

Date posted: 06.10.2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, have today announced that they are exploring plans to build what could be the capital’s largest film studios, based in Dagenham East.

We will be working closely with the Mayor, as well as with the London Local Enterprise Panel and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to commission a feasibility study into creating the capital’s first new TV and film production studios for at least 25 years.

London at the heart of UK screen industries

Approximately three-quarters of the UK’s film industry is based in and around London, and last year £1billion was attracted to the city in inward investment from international film production. London is the third busiest city for film production in the world after only Los Angeles and New York.

The capital’s hard-won success against fierce international competition is due in no small part to the ongoing work of the Mayor’s screen industries agency, Film London, and the British Film Commission, in attracting and supporting major production to London and the UK. In fact, Barking and Dagenham’s Film Office has already enjoyed considerable success in attracting a number of big budget films, such as Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron and Doctor Strange, and TV dramas including Channel 4 sci-fi thriller, Humans. New studio space will help meet increasing demand and ensure many more multi-million-pound productions come to London, showing the world that, following the EU referendum, the capital remains open to business, talent and creativity. 

London and its environs are home to some of the best studios and facilities in the world, from major studio spaces hosting global blockbusters to Oscar-winning VFX companies and smaller television studios catering for homegrown TV hits. We work with the likes of Ealing, Elstree, 3 Mills, Twickenham and Industrial Light and Magic and Framestore studios as well as other studios located near London such as Pinewood and Leavesden – and a new studio in Dagenham would complement the capital’s already first-rate offering.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “London is one of the world’s busiest destinations for the film industry, with international filmmakers making a beeline for our city because they know it offers the very best by way of facilities, expertise and creative talent. If realised, this major new infrastructure project would mean a tremendous economic boost for Barking and Dagenham, the capital’s film and TV industries and the UK as a whole.”

Benefits for the capital

The potential site for new studios at Dagenham East is located in front of London-east industrial park and its large size presents the opportunity to build a new, bespoke facility. The area is also well connected with the District Line and Crossrail services nearby, allowing quick access to central London. The biggest US studio-backed productions can bring in over £100 million in UK spend and new Dagenham studios would enable London to bid successfully for more overseas film productions, and would also create a range of permanent jobs in the East End with ambitions to diversify the industry’s workforces, recognising broader skillsets that are necessary for film production – from carpenters to sound technicians.

The London Local Enterprise Partnership and Barking and Dagenham Council will invest up to £80,000 to develop a business case for the proposed new studios. This will look in close detail at the demand for such a facility and the economic benefit that it could bring to East London and the city as a whole.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Rodwell said: “We are working together to create a blockbuster deal to generate hundreds of exciting opportunities for local young people and bolster Barking and Dagenham’s reputation as London’s latest creative hotspot. Our ambition is that in future, Dagenham will become world famous for films rather than Fords.”

Copyright Barking & Dagenham Council

Importance of the cultural sector

As one of the city’s fastest growing sectors, culture is a top priority for the Mayor, who has committed to sustaining London’s future as a creative capital, as well as reimagining and refreshing the city’s cultural infrastructure for communities and artists. This sector already provides 800,000 jobs in London and generate £35 billion for the economy.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “From James Bond and Star Wars to Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’s Baby, London has a vibrant production history and some of the best studios in the world. To sustain and grow this success story, it is critical that the capital gets significantly more studio and production capacity to maximise the opportunities for filmmaking.”

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