Dagenham Studios, the major film and TV studio development being propositioned for East London, has taken a step forward with the official submission of a planning application to the local council.
New designs for the facility have been drawn up by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration organization, which is overseeing the project. They feature six large sound stages, equivalent to 140,000 sq ft, offices totaling 85,200 sq ft, and workshops totaling 174,500 sq ft.
The project has been in the works for a number of years, part of the UK’s ‘space race’ to build new facilities to cater for surging demand. Inward investment reached a new peak last year, with $4b spent on UK shores by foreign companies across film and TV. The trend has seen a scramble by the U.S. majors to tie up studio space: last year, Netflix signed a long-term deal to make Shepperton Studios its de facto UK production hub, while Disney entered a similar deal at Pinewood.
The Dagenham project hit a bump after U.S. entertainment real estate outfit Pacifica Ventures, which was named the partner back in March 2018, let its exclusive option to develop the site lapse last year, citing Brexit concerns. The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI Co), which is currently on a PR offensive in the UK touting a $640M war chest to invest in the UK’s studios scene, has an offer on the table for Dagenham. Be First told Deadline today that it is speaking to a range of interested parties.
Plans for the site are expected to be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee in July this year.
“This is a crucial stage in our ambition to make Dagenham London’s Hollywood. Our dream of making the area as famous for films as it was for Fords is very much on track,” said Councillor, Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council.