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Barking and Dagenham Council approves plan to build film studios

An artists impression of what the film studios may look like (credit: Be First)

A plan to build London’s largest ever film studios in Dagenham has been approved by Barking and Dagenham Council. 

The proposals include designs for six world class sound stages, workshops for set construction and production offices for hair and makeup or dressing rooms. 

They will be built on the former Sanofi factory site, in the London East Business and Technical Park, in Yewtree Avenue. 

The £110 million scheme is expected to create 1,200 jobs. 

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said the planning committee’s decision is “momentous”. 

“It went through with no objections from any residents and it was unanimous by the members,” said Cllr Rodwell. 

“It shows that as a borough, people buy into the vision that the community is wanting to portray moving forward.” 

“So, where once Dagenham was known for Ford’s and factories, we will be making films and a new bright new future for our borough and its residents.”

Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader of London Borough of Barking and Dagenham at the Film Studio site, Dagenham East (credit: Andrew Baker)

The site has already attracted a number of major movie makers, with Black Widow and Morbius both filming there last year. 

“What we wanted though was a proper base with a partner that could actually help us train the next generation of people that would need to work in that industry,” added Cllr Rodwell.

“The problem is, it has been very elitist for a very long time and the bits that are not elitist are actually quite poorly paid.” 

Cllr Rodwell hopes the development will provide people from every background with the chance to train in the film industry.

Be First, the investment arm of the council, is having serious discussions with up to a dozen vendors according to Cllr Rodwell. 

They are trying to determine whether to secure a joint venture agreement, a land sale or if Be First will build the studios and lease the site to an interested party. 

“We’ve had a great deal of interest in the site and with planning permission secured the interest will intensify,” said Managing Director of Be First, Pat Hayes. 

“With the ever growing demand for studio space in the UK, we’re in a very good position to take this project forward.”

The plans must now be approved by the Mayor of London before work can begin.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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