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06/04/2021

‘UK’s largest’ film studio could feature in upcoming local plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Hertswood Studios / Bidwells

An application for Hertswood Studios, which would comprise a million square feet of film studio space, has been submitted for inclusion in Hertsmere Borough Council's local plan.

The proposals, lodged by property consultancy Bidwells, also include supporting workshops, offices with an additional 600,000 square feet of commercial space for supporting businesses, and a hotel.

An education facility that would operate alongside Elstree Screen Arts Academy also features in the plans.

The film studios, larger in size than Pinewood Studios, would be located in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and adjacent to a 30-acre Sky Studio development, on which work has begun. It has been submitted for inclusion in Hertsmere Borough Council’s new local plan.

A 2018 report by Lambert Smith Hampton found that the UK needs up to 1.9 million square feet of new film studio space.

Iain Keys, partner in fund management at Bidwells, said: “London is a city synonymous with characters such as James Bond, Austin Powers, Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist and Bridget Jones, and franchises such as Star Wars, The Crown, Kingsman and Mission: Impossible. This didn’t come about by accident. Our city’s success is thanks to a near-alchemical mix of locations, facilities and technical expertise, all of which are underpinned by generous and reliable tax reliefs.

“However, huge supply and demand mismatches threaten to dethrone the UK as one of the UK’s leading production hubs. Our proposals for Hertswood Studios will instead help cement the UK’s position at the top by providing grade-A, purpose-built space in the most prime location. In addition, with approximately three-quarters of the UK’s film industry based in and around London, investors and companies will benefit from a location that is part of the UK’s biggest film and TV cluster – making it easy to attract and retain talent.”

* This story has been updated to clarify that a planning application has not been submitted. The site has been put forward in the council's recent call for employment sites as part of the on-going process to develop a new local plan.

Image credit | Bidwells

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