Elstree Studios’ new super stages granted planning permission

PUBLISHED: 16:46 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:24 23 January 2020

Artist's impression of the proposed new stages at Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree Studios

Artist's impression of the proposed new stages at Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree Studios

Elstree Studios

Planning permission has been granted to Elstree Studios to build two new super stages – further boosting the creative sector in Hertfordshire.

Outside the George Lucas Stage at Elstree StudiosOutside the George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios

Hertsmere Borough Council has agreed to Elstree Studios' expansion plans for two stages, workshops and offices at its Shenley Road site in Borehamwood.

The new stages will be built on the former Big Brother studio site.

The reality show's home at Elstree Studios was the old water tank where classic films such as Moby Dick and The Dam Busters were filmed.

The two super stages will be similar to the nearby George Lucas stages, which are already popular with film and television clients, with Strictly Come Dancing one of the shows filmed there.

An artist's impression of the planned new Sky Studios Elstree in Borehamwood. Picture: Sky.An artist's impression of the planned new Sky Studios Elstree in Borehamwood. Picture: Sky.

Media giant Sky has also revealed its plans to councillors and residents for the new Sky Studios Elstree.

This impressive studio complex is to be built on a 32-acre site off Rowley Lane, just a short distance from Elstree Studios, and a few miles down the A1 from South Mimms and Potters Bar.

READ MORE: Sky to develop major new film and TV studio in Hertsmere

Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree StudiosRoger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree Studios

With Sky Studios Elstree, BBC Studios Elstree, where EastEnders and Holby City are made, and Elstree Studios providing at least 26 film and TV stages, all based in Borehamwood/Elstree, the area has become a major creative hub for the South East and London.

This in turn helps the wider Hertfordshire community, with many film and TV productions being shot on location in the county, including Welwyn Hatfield.

The new stages and studios will eventually create thousands of film and TV jobs and will benefit many of the graduates from the Elstree University Technical College (EUTC).

The George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios. Picture: Alan DaviesThe George Lucas Stage at Elstree Studios. Picture: Alan Davies

This vocational college for film, TV and theatre students was set up by Roger Morris, managing director of Elstree Studios and chair of the EUTC.

The college, which has been in existence for five years, announced that students who graduated and left the college last year have all found employment, or have gone on to study further at university.

Owned by Hertsmere, Elstree Studios is currently home to Sony Leftbank, Netflix production The Crown, and top television entertainment shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, The Voice and League of Their Own.

Television technical facilities are provided at Elstree Studios by BBC Studioworks.

Artist's impression of the proposed new stages at Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree StudiosArtist's impression of the proposed new stages at Elstree Studios. Picture: Elstree Studios

The success of Elstree has a knock-on effect in the wider community.

Netflix series The Crown, for example, has also been filmed at Hatfield House, Knebworth House, and Wrotham Park near Potters Bar.

Known as the birthplace of Star Wars, some of the most famous films in the world have been produced at Elstree Studios, with the original Indiana Jones and Star Wars trilogies, Superman and The Shining made there.

More recently, major feature films such as The Danish Girl starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, Paddington starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Jude Law and Robert Downey Jnr, and The World's End starring Simon Pegg have been based at Elstree.

Of those movies, Paddington was also filmed on location at Hatfield House, as was Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes blockbuster.

Edgar Wright's apocalyptic sci-fi comedy The World's End was largely filmed in Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth, with the Hatfield House estate also used.

READ MORE: The World's End pub crawl locations revealed

Wright and Pegg also used the grounds of Hatfield House for Hot Fuzz, with the climactic model village scenes shot where the George's Gate visitor car park and Hatfield Park Farm are situated today.

The multi-award-winning The King's Speech starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter is another movie made at Elstree, and on location at both Knebworth House and Hatfield House.

The George Lucas stages at Elstree are among the tallest in Europe with a height of 50ft.

Internationally famous acts such as Robbie Williams, Kylie, Madonna, Rihanna, Muse, Take That and One Direction have used the stages for their tour rehearsals, enabling them to fit a full-size stadium stage and lighting grid.

For more on Elstree Studios, visit www.elstreestudios.co.uk


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