Hertsmere Borough Council councillors unanimously approved the plans at a meeting on Wednesday evening, giving Sky the green light to build the complex, which will be within walking distance of Elstree Studios, the famous home of films including The King’s Speech and TV shows such as The Crown.
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Sky will open the 32-acre development by 2022, but ultimately has five years to complete the work following planning permission being granted. Sky’s investment in the studio has not been disclosed, but the project is backed by its parent company Comcast and will be delivered in partnership with NBCUniversal.
The complex will consist of nine buildings, comprising 12 sound stages, production offices, a set construction workshop, screening cinema, a multi-story car park, and post-production and digital facilities. Take a look at the plans below.
The studio complex aims to house a range of productions, from TV comedies all the way through to Hollywood blockbusters on the scale of Mission: Impossible 7, which is currently being shot at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden. It will also be among the most sustainable film and TV production sites in the world, with solar power and rain harvesting plans in place.
Speaking during the Hertsmere Council meeting, Sky Studios CFO Caroline Cooper said it was a “once in a lifetime” development and would cement Elstree’s reputation as a “British Hollywood.”
An economic impact assessment by Oxford Economics said Sky’s development will create 1,532 full-time, permanent jobs, as well as contribute £720 million ($902M) to the UK’s GDP. Oxford Economics concluded that, amid soaring demand for film and TV studio space in the UK, Sky Studios Elstree will be “augmenting” existing studios by helping the country attract more business from overseas.
There were minimal objections to the Sky Studios Elstree plans, though local charity, the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, did raise concerns about the biodiversity assessments carried out to examine how the studio development will impact local wildlife. These concerns are currently being addressed.
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