Will Dagenham be the new Hollywood?

You might think Dagenham seems like a world away from the sunshine and glamour of the legendary Hollywood. However, new plans are afoot to transform this part of the UK into somewhere that could achieve that same iconic status as Hollywood holds in the near future. This is because the go ahead has now been given to construct film studios here – and not just any film studios but a location that will be the largest in London when construction has been finished. Given the new importance that Dagenham is going to have for the British film industry, are we going to see its name in lights?

 

Construction can go ahead

 

Last month it was revealed that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan had given his approval for the new studio complex to go ahead in Dagenham, creating what will be the Capital’s largest film studio once the project has been completed. The new studios will be located at Yewtree Avenue on former industrial land and are going to be a development that could be incredibly productive for the British film industry. As well as creating 1,200 jobs the new film studios are going to make a significant contribution to the local economy, somewhere in the region of £35 million.

 

A grant-funded development

 

The new film studios received a £5 million grant from the Getting Building Fund and has the full support of Barking and Dagenham Council, which has already publicly backed the plans to make this site a new Hollywood for the UK. Leader of the local council Darren Rodwell said, “Not only will our film studios make Dagenham London’s Hollywood, they will generate thousands of jobs and opportunities which is hugely important in the light of the gloomy economic outlook caused by Covid.” He also made the point that the new film studios could provide a beacon of hope during dark economic times, not just locally but across the rest of the UK too.

 

An extensive studio complex

 

The new studios at Dagenham will be pretty sizeable – the largest in London when they are completed – and will have six sound stages in total. The complex will also include production offices and set construction workshops. Dagenham is already the location of a temporary film studio that has been up and running for some time and has already been home for a number of very well known productions, including Black Widow by Marvel and Morbius by Sony Pictures. It is hoped that the new studios will be able to attract more of these big names and transform this part of London into a creative hub. As London Mayor Sadiq Khan noted the creative industries have taken a huge hit as a result of the impact of COVID-19. However, he also believes that they may hold the key to recovery for the UK and that these new studios in Dagenham could have a major role to play in supporting this. Hooray for Dagenham.

 

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