Elstree Studios expansion boosted by council's £6m pledge

The expansion plans include two new sound stages with ancillary facilities 

By Nia Daniels 1 Sep 2020

Elstree Studios expansion boosted by council's £6m pledge
The Crown via Sophie Mutevellan/Netflix

Plans to expand the UK's Elstree Studios have been boosted by a £6m match funding pledge by the local council. 

Hertsmere Borough councillors agreed at a meeting last week that the local authority would approve the funding subject to formal notification that another £6 million of government funding will be granted for the project via the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
It is hoped that the expansion – largely comprising two new soundstages and ancillary facilities - will provide 800 jobs a year for the next 50 years; at the meeting it was also agreed that £100,000 per year of the project's profits will be invested into the creative industries in Hertsmere, including local media and creative enterprises and initiatives.

The iconic studio currently hosts high-profile projects including The Crown and Strictly Come Dancing but the lack of space has seen the company having to turn away approaches from high-end TV projects and major feature films. 

Leader of the council, Cllr Morris Bright, said: “Elstree Studios represents the beating heart of our borough – it is a fundamental part of our heritage having been in operation here in Borehamwood since the 1920s.

“We are committed to realising this project as a huge boon for our residents and businesses; the wider Hertfordshire community and the UK’s creative sector.

“The two new sound-stages will result in 800 new jobs and more than 100 new learner or apprenticeship opportunities per year, providing much-needed and very welcome employment and training opportunities for local people.

“If realised, this project will come at a time when many of our residents are experiencing severe financial difficulties following the coronavirus pandemic.

“The studios currently contributes almost £1.6m in funding a year for local day-to-day services , such as parks, waste and recycling collection, community grants, street cleaning.

Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios, said: "The new stages will provide Elstree Studios with almost 60 per cent more capacity for productions ranging from feature films to high-end television and drama. We already have major production companies requesting to hire the new stages once they are built.”

The two stages, which are similar in design to the ‘George Lucas’ studio building, will be available for use separately or combined to form a supersize soundstage.

Meanwhile, work on Sky Studios Elstree, a 12 stage production facility off Rowley Lane in Borehamwood, is moving ahead after the planning application was given the green light last month.

Artist’s impression of studio via Hertsmere Council
The Crown image via Sophie Mutevellan/Netflix 

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