Designs revealed for Dagenham film studios plan

The first designs for London’s largest Hollywood-style film studios in Dagenham East were revealed this week.

The plans submitted by Barking and Dagenham’s regeneration arm Be First are expected to go before the council’s planning committee in July.

They include proposals for six large sound stages, 85,200 sq ft of offices and 174,500 sq ft of workshops.

Council leader Darren Rodwell said: “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.

“The new studios will be a game-changer in bringing thousands of jobs to Dagenham.”

Barking and Dagenham was announced as “the next global destination for making blockbuster movies” when the council and City Hall unveiled proposals for a £110 million studio development in 2017.

It was hoped studios earmarked for the 22-acre site — a former factory opposite Dagenham East station — would be under construction in 2019.

But the project was thrown into turmoil last year when Los Angeles-based developer Pacifica Ventures, which was picked by the council as the developer, dropped out over “uncertainty surrounding Brexit”.

Pacifica Ventures, which owns the studio behind Breaking Bad, was chosen as the preferred bidder for the Made in Dagenham studios in early 2018.

After the company dropped out the council vowed to look for other investors or it would complete the project without outside investment.

Pat Hayes, managing director of Be First, said: “Our consultancy team has worked hard to submit exciting plans for what will be the most modern and largest studios to be built in the capital in the last 25 years.

“Given the high demand for studio space in the UK, I am confident that ambitious movie makers, production companies and studio operators will be very attracted by these proposals.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter