Britain’s largest world-class film studio complex could be built in Hertfordshire.
Developers want to build Herswood Studios just 4 miles from South Mimms and M25.
The offer is to see 21 stages built between Rowley Lane and A1.
A schematic CGI of the proposed 21 stage Hertswood Studios site bordering Borehamwood’s A1. -Credit: Bidwells
Located next to the legal and general support Sky Studios Elstreedevelopment currently under construction, it will create the UK’s first film industry cluster.
Submitted by leading real estate consulting firm Bidwells, the plan will provide 1 million square feet of film studio space, including 21 stages, support workshops and offices, and a hotel to visit movie stars and crews.
The new studio complex will create more than 14,000 jobs and Oxford Economics predicts that the completed plan will contribute 1.17 billion GDP per year to the local economy.
With the planning permit, Hertswood Studios will be the largest single studio in the UK.
What would look like if the Hertswood Studios site was built on Rowley Lane in Borehamwood. -Credit: Bidwells
It has already been supported by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and the British Film Commission (BFC).
In a letter to the local council, DIT said the offer would be warmly welcomed, at least because Hertsmere has a rich legacy of film and high-end TV (HETV) production.
The proposed development, combined with the neighboring Sky plan already under construction, will create a cinema and digital hub that can compete with anything in the world.
A map of the proposed Hertswood Studios site presented as a site of potential employment in Hertsmere. -Credit: Bidwells
Plans for the state-of-the-art complex have been submitted for inclusion in the Hertsmere Borough Councils’ new regional plan.
Once adopted and subsequently given a planning permit, work could start as early as 2023, creating thousands of jobs.
According to Bidwells’ concept document, a purpose-built facility has two 40,000 square foot stages, three 30,000 square foot stages, and 16 x 20,000 square foot stages, all flexible and divisible to create smaller spaces.
There are also plans for an additional 20 acres of back lodges, which are the industry’s most sought after space in the UK, as well as important elements for filming and production.
Hertswood Studios site proposed in Hertsmere between Rowley Lane and A1 from the air. -Source: Google Maps
The highly specified sound stage can accommodate the latest surround screen shooting technology.
The 90-acre site currently in agriculture will also include a Creative Media College that will operate alongside the existing Elstree Screen Arts Academy, which is linked to Elstree Studios and the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.
Thecollegespace offers hundreds of training and apprenticeship opportunities each year.
The proposal also promises highly sustainable development incorporating energy efficiency, renewable power and high-quality landscaping.
The BBC Elstree Centre, the famous Elstree Studio, and the new Sky Studios Elstree are all nearby, and Warner BrosStudios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire will be the UK’s premier film studio location and global leader in the industry.
Aerial view of the proposed Hertswood Studios site between Rowley Lane and A1. -Credit: Bidwells
About three-quarters of the British film industry is in and around London.
Hertswood Studios is perfectly positioned between 8 and 12 o’clock in the M25 area, making it the best place for film crews to access central London and Heathrow Airport.
Iain Keys, fund management partner at Bidwells, said, “London is a city like characters like James Bond, Austin Powers, Sherlock Holmes, Oliver Twist and Bridget Jones and franchises like Star Wars, The Crown, Kingsman and Mission.: Impossible. .
“This is not by accident. Our city’s success is due to an almost alchemical combination of location, facilities and technical expertise backed by generous and reliable tax cuts.
However, due to the massive supply and demand mismatch, the UK is at risk of becoming one of the UK’s leading production hubs.
“Our proposal for Hertswood Studios will help the UK to take the top position by providing A-rated special purpose space in the most important locations instead.
“In addition, with about three-quarters of the UK film industry based in and around London, investors and businesses can easily attract and retain talent with locations that are part of the UK’s largest film and TV cluster.
Hertswood Studios, proposed by Hertsmere, include 21 stages, workshops, offices, a university of film industry, and a hotel surrounded by A1 to the east and Rowley Lane to the north and west. -Credit: Bidwells
Why do you need so many news stages?
As the demand for film content increases, the film and TV industry is becoming increasingly valuable in terms of employment and investment.
Despite the initial impact of COVID-19, according to the BFC, the cost of producing international film and high-end television (HETV) in the UK exceeded $2.34 billion in 2020.
Last year’s internally invested feature films include movies such as Jurassic World: Dominion and Mission: Impossible 7 starring Tom Cruise and Hertfordshire-based actor Simon Pegg.
But, according to real estate agent Lambert Smith Hampton, the lack of a new purpose built space means that up to 1.9 million square feet of movie studio space is needed in the UK.
It is currently under construction, and upon completion it has an artist’s impression of what Sky Studios Elstree will look like. -Credit: Sky
Sky has pledged a new development of 30 acres on the south side of the proposed Hertswood Studios site, which will contain 280,000 square feet of studio space.
New studios are also planned for Dagenham in London and Shinfield Studiosin in Reading.
Hertswood will help stop the shortage, whether studios are leased to film companies like Pinewood over the long term to Disney, Netflix on Shepperton, or filmmakers on demand, such as in a hotel room.
Bidwells’ Iain Keys said: “Going forward, we plan to work closely with the future-thinking Hertsmere Borough Council to deliver this initiative and work with the communities that live in the area to build Elstree’s incredibly rich film heritage.
In a letter to the commission, Adrian Wootton, CEO of the British Film Commission (BFC), said: With the new demand for content, the need for additional studios and adequate stage space is greater than ever.
In another letter to Hertsmere, Rupert Daniels, Director of Agriculture, Food and Beverage, Creative, Lifestyle and Learning at the Department for International Trade (DIT) said: DIT is supporting this proposal from Bidwells to create additional stage space. It will bring significant investment and employment to the region.
“Our ongoing support for projects such as these projects and sectors includes the introduction of capital investors to studio infrastructure investment opportunities, the ongoing promotion of film and TV tax credits, and throughout Whitehall to support the regulatory, technical and R&D environment. This includes working, as far as possible.
What happens next?
When incorporated into Hertsmere’s new regional plan, Hertswood Studios work could begin in 2023.
The Hertswood plan was submitted to the commission on behalf of Gilston Investments Ltd, owner of the Wrotham Park Estate near Potters Bar, as part of Hertsmere’s’Call for Employment Sites’ initiated by the Borough Planning Team in February.
This committee will be added to the list of other potential employment locations around the borough that have been submitted as part of a previous site request and previous consultation to help develop a new regional plan for Hertsmere.
This regional plan will guide and influence the development of the aftereffects of the pandemic and how the borough will change over the next 15 years.
Currently, planning officers and lawmakers are deciding which sites will form part of the new plans to be announced later this year. Not all potential sites are included in the plan.
When the draft plan is announced, the next official consultation will take place.
Ross Whear, Head of Planning and Economic Development at Hertsmere, said: “We released the latest Call for Employment Sites after police officers became aware of the borough’s new potential employment sites.
“We wanted to learn more about these new sites and how they will affect the borough. Thank you to everyone who participated in this process.
“The next step is to assess whether they meet the requirements and development suitability for inclusion as a hiring site.
“The public will have the opportunity to comment on sites they deem appropriate once the draft regional plan is published.”
On behalf of Gilston in a Hertswood submission, Steven Brown of Woolf Bond Planning LLP says Rowley Lanesite is “a good location to accommodate important employment opportunities in the form of a new film studio complex.”
A professional urban planning consultant says the proposal “with Sky and existing BBC and Elstree Studios will make Borehamwood one of the world’s largest film and high end television (HETV) production centers in the world.”
According to a report by Oxford Economics, the studio offer will create 14,490 jobs.
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