“Dagenwood” is Britain’s answer to Hollywood film studios

Credit Be First. The “Dagenwood” site

An east London film studio hoping to rival Hollywood has been given the go-ahead.

The 22-acre complex – already dubbed “Dagenwood” – is on a former pharmaceutical factory site.

Dagenham Studios will feature 140,000 square feet of sound stages, more than 80,000 sq ft of offices, and 174,500 sq ft of workshops.

It will be London’s biggest studios.

It’s hoped the £110 million development will create 1,200 new jobs.

Council leader Darren Rodwell said:

“This will mean thousands of jobs and educational opportunities for local people.

“Where once Dagenham was known for Fords and factories, we will be making films and a new bright new future for our borough.”

The project’s original backer – Pacifica Ventures – pulled out because of concerns about Brexit.

But the council pressed on.

Its investment arm, Be First, is in talks with potential joint venture partners.

So far, it has released £3.4 million to cover any pre-development costs.

It has already attracted big-budget films, including Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Black Widow and Doctor Strange.

The council estimates the studios will bring an initial 1,200 extra jobs to Barking and Dagenham.

Head of film, Lisa Dee, said:

“Barking and Dagenham is already a magnet for movie-makers.

“Two of the UK’s biggest features were filmed in Dagenham last year — Black Widow by Marvel and Morbius by Sony Pictures.

“As London is moving a lot of work east, we are finding more crew and production workers are actually living in east, south–east and north London areas, so we’re on their doorstep, which makes Dagenham Studios such a great geographical fit for the next generation of creatives.”




About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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