'We want to support the next generation of young creative talent' - Sky Studios Elstree's new partnership with academy

Elstree Screen Arts Academy students joined Sky Studios COO Caroline Cooper in a steel signing ceremony

Elstree Screen Arts Academy students joined Sky Studios chief operating officer Caroline Cooper in a steel signing ceremony as the first studio is erected at Sky Studios Elstree. - Credit: Chris Lobina / Sky

Creative students will document the construction of a new Hertfordshire film and TV studios as part of a partnership just announced.

Sky Studios Elstree and BAM have partnered with Elstree Screen Arts Academy (ESA) for a nine-month project to celebrate the borough’s rich film and TV heritage.

As part of the partnership, students will create four 10-minute documentaries centred on the new Sky Studios Elstree site currently under construction in Hertsmere at Rowley Lane, Borehamwood, next to the A1.

Currently under construction, an artist's impression of  how Sky Studios Elstree will look when completed.

Currently under construction, an artist's impression of how Sky Studios Elstree will look when completed. - Credit: Sky

Each documentary will look at a particular theme – film and TV heritage, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and the construction process itself.

To mark the start of the partnership, teachers and students from Elstree Screen Arts Academy met with Sky Studios chief operating officer Caroline Cooper on site to sign a piece of steel.

This will become part of the structure of the first studio erected on site, marking a key milestone in the construction of the state-of-the-art complex.

Caroline Cooper said: “We want to support the next generation of young creative talent, and this partnership will allow us to share some of Sky’s film-making expertise with local students in Hertsmere.

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"I am very much looking forward to seeing the films that these talented young people create, and hope it inspires them into a career in film and television.”

As part of the nine-month project, local ESA students will also receive masterclasses and workshops from members of the team at Sky and Sky Studios on documentary research, marketing, PR and distribution, and planning and production.

Each class will develop their skills and help them progress their films. 

When it opens in 2022, Sky Studios Elstree will house 13 sound stages, creating 2,000 jobs in the local area. It is expected to attract £3bn of production spend over the first five years of operation alone.

How the entrance to Sky Studios Elstree, which is currently under construction, will look.

How the entrance to Sky Studios Elstree, which is currently under construction, will look. - Credit: Sky

This new partnership with the creative academy for the culture industry aligns with Sky Studios Elstree’s commitment to supporting new, diverse talent in Hertsmere while helping to fuel the local economy. 

Lauren Christy, assistant principal at ESA, said: “ESA is all about giving young people industry experience through meaningful partnerships with industry professionals.

"This project will be giving students relevant experience and will develop key skills in order for them to progress onto careers in the creative industries.

"In addition, the briefs that the students are working allows them to explore the history of Elstree as 'British Hollywood' and the contexts that they face as young creatives.

"We are thrilled to be working with Sky Studios Elstree and excited that going forward we will be providing the necessary training to give access and opportunities to work in the industry.”

Construction company BAM is creating Sky Studios Elstree, which it is hoped will be the most sustainable film and TV studio in the world. 

June Wilkinson, education and community coordinator at BAM, said: “Our partnership with Elstree Screen Arts is a great opportunity for local students.

"The documentaries and site visits will provide valuable work experience and insights into a career in the film and television industry.

"I hope that this encourages the students to follow their dreams and that one day some of them will be back on site, creating the films of the future.”

Once operational, Sky Studios Elstree will not use gas or fossil fuels to power day-to-day running of the site. 

Instead it will source renewable energy with the capability to generate up to 20 per cent of energy on-site through solar energy. 

Sky Studios Elstree will also not allow any single-use plastic in its operations on site, and will harvest rainwater.

About Sky Studios

Sky Studios develops, produces and funds original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24 million customers and beyond.

Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky Originals, including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, BAFTA-winning Patrick Melrose, and international hits Das Boot, Riviera and Britannia, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky Originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, I Hate Suzie, co-created by Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper, and BAFTA-nominated hit comedy Brassic. 

With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, bosses have plans to more than double Sky Studios' investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBCUniversal.