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Preferred bidder for Made in Dagenham studios revealed

Date posted: 23.03.2018

The largest new film and media studios to be built in London for decades will be constructed and operated in Dagenham by Pacifica Ventures in partnership with Media Content Capital (MCC) it was announced yesterday (22 March).

Darren Rodwell, the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council announced that the USA based Pacifica Ventures, in partnership with MCC, will be the preferred builder and operator of the ambitious new film and media complex on the 22-acre site.

About the bidder

The announcement was made after Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council's regeneration company, formally announced the competition to find a partner back in February. Film London and property consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton, acted as technical and commercial advisors to the £100 million deal throughout the competition. 

Pacifica Ventures studio facilities have been the home of some of the most successful film and television productions in history: over $4 billion of production has been created at Pacifica's facilities in the last decade alone. The Company designed, developed, built and continues to operate Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico, and has consulted on studio projects around the world.

Dana Arnold, CEO of Pacifica Ventures stated that they are "thrilled" to partner with Be First, "in the creation of a world-class film and television production complex that will become the pride of Dagenham and Greater London."  Sasha Shapiro, Managing Director of Media Content Capital, added, "We are excited to be making our London production home at the brand-new Dagenham Studios."

In addition to 12 state-of-the-art sound stages - covering some 264,000 sq ft - the plans from Pacifica Ventures - MCC feature:

  • Workshops and warehouses for lighting and grip operations, and at least 95,000 sq ft of production office space
  • An extensive post-production, visual effects and media technology complex
  • Specially rigged stages for job training programmes with local educational institutions
  • Multi-format large-screen theatre auditorium
  • A major event centre and large screen auditorium including VR and immersive 3D attractions with studio tours
  • Retail and dining outlets.

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said that "we expect construction of the media and TV complex to get underway in 2019."

An East End Epic

Barking and Dagenham is already a major hotspot for film and TV production, local agency Film LBBD having facilitated a host of blockbusters and TV dramas locally, including Marvel's Doctor Strange, Sky's Lucky Man and Channel 4's Humans. Cllr Rodwell said that the new state-of-the-art studio "will be an exciting new visitor destination too - an east end epic - that will create thousands of quality jobs and educational opportunities in a huge range of disciplines ... I am confident that it will make Barking and Dagenham more famous for films than Fords."

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commented that "London is a global capital for film - with more than 40 film crews on our streets every day. I'm delighted that Pacifica Ventures has been announced as the preferred bidder - their exceptional track record will further cement the capital's position as a world-leading film-making city. This development will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area - from carpenters to camera crew - and will bring big Hollywood blockbusters to Barking and Dagenham." Chris Berry, Director - Head of Media, at LSH said that the project "marks a significant shift in London's creative focus from west to east."

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: "This is an exciting development for both London and the UK, bringing as it does new infrastructure and much-needed additional capacity, while also representing a huge vote of confidence in our city's ability to deliver world class content, skills and creativity. Securing major international investment is an incredible success for Barking and Dagenham, and we wholeheartedly congratulate Cllr Darren Rodwell and his team for the leadership and vision they have shown in making this happen." 

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