February 2017

SQW to study the feasibility of a proposed new film studio for London


In recent years the screen industries have seen strong growth in the UK, especially in and around London. The introduction of tax credits first for film, and then for high-end TV production, animation and video games, has led to a surge in production, especially from US-based production companies. In 2016, 200 feature films started filming in the UK with a total UK spend of £1.6 billion, the highest figure since records were first kept. London is thought to be the world's third largest film-making hub, behind only Los Angeles and New York. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has declared that he wants London to become the world's most film-friendly city.

Yet London is also losing film and TV studio space. In recent years, Teddington Studios, BBC TV Centre at Shepherd's Bush, and Fountain TV studios in Wembley have all closed. As a result, space for filming is increasingly at a premium. A proposal to build a major new studio at Dagenham East has therefore attracted much attention.

The Greater London Authority has commissioned SQW and its partners to carry out a feasibility study of possible options for the site. We have been asked to explore its potential contribution to the regeneration of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and its strategic value to the wider London creative economy.

Our commission was announced by the Mayor at a roundtable for the film industry attended by many of the sector's key players. The associated press release can be read here