London is set to get another major new film and TV studio as the demand for content and studio space continues to swell.
In late summer, Location Collective will open a new, 224,000 sq ft studio called OMA: X, just 750m from the company’s first studio venture, OMA Film Studios, which opened last year in Enfield, north London.
The new facility – housed on a 10-acre warehouse site leased from global industrial property group Goodman - features six sound stages, each with 46 ft working height. As an overall facility, it delivers over 50% more space than OMA – making it the largest film studio inside London.
The UK continues to boom as an international production hub and, with the safety guidelines published last summer combined with the government’s production insurance backstop, filming was able to continue throughout the second and third lockdowns.
Total spend on UK film and high-end TV production reached £3.62bn in 2019, a 16% increase on the previous year, primarily driven by investment from major studios and content providers including Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, Apple and NBCUniversal.
Samantha Perahia, head of production UK at the British Film Commission, commented: "This addition to the UK’s filming infrastructure is very welcome. As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and the successes of the vaccine roll out to date add to the confidence provided by our stringent Covid-19 safety guidance, we are seeing more demand for filming in the UK than ever before.
“The British Film Commission is focused on the key role our sector can play in supporting the UK’s recovery, through billions of pounds of investment into the economy and associated employment and skills development opportunities across the UK’s nations and regions.”
Antony Iredale, managing director of Location Collective, said: “We are extremely excited about the role OMA:X Film Studios has the potential to play in bringing the biggest, highest profile productions to London and the UK. The message we’re receiving from studio executives we’ve spoken to over the last couple of months has been the same: ‘London is where we want to make this project, we just need to find enough space to do it’.
“The site has perfect ‘bone structure’ for film studio use. The building’s 46 ft working height clearance and vast pillarless spans have provided us with a rare opportunity to create sound stages of significant size and scale.
“It’s a site I’ve driven past for many years and thought about how fantastic it would be to make it available for film studio use. Now, we are very fortunate to be in the position of making it a reality.
Header picture, L-R: James Hanford, head of acquisitions, Location Collective; Antony Iredale, managing director, Location Collective; Becky Butler, head of operations, Location Collective.