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New film studios for Buckinghamshire

Image: CGI of new film campus at Marlow, Buckinghamshire - courtesy Wilkinson Eyre

Investment interest in new film and production studios is continuing strongly in the UK. Future Cities Forum last month featured the growth of the creative arts in the Thames Corridor around Purfleet at its City of London event. It is holding its March forum at the British Film Institute to discuss the future for investment in film production and implications of the forthcoming Media Bill.

Planning for a new UK centre for high-end film and TV production has been submitted by a group of local entrepreneurs and arts industry professionals in Buckinghamshire at the former gravel pits near the town of Marlow.

Dido Property Limited - led by Robert Laycock who will be speaking at our March forum - wants to create 'the definitive UK centre for creative work that will attract the world's attention.' The team behind the property company has delivered betweeen them projects such as the London Olympics, King's Cross and CB1 Cambridge.

Robert manages the Ian Fleming Estate (James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and is currently producing an adaptation of the celebrated cult novel The Magus with Sir Sam Mendes and Dame Pippa Harris. His twin passions are the environment and the creative arts which he hopes to bring together with the Marlow Studio Project.

Buckinghamshire has a long association with Oscar winning films and creative industries and is home to Pinewood Studios and the National Film and Television School. Robert and his team want to leverage the future studio's place in this local cluster, providing new jobs, skills, education, training and apprenticeships in a growth industry, which they say has the potential to provide wealth and prosperity for future generations. They add that the aim of the project is to enhance the ecological and transport infrastructure of the area, while bringing cultural and recreational benefits to the community. Engagement has been designed around an exhibition, feedback forms, online community meetings and newsletters.

The master plan is intended to provide versatile production facilities flexible to the diverse needs of the TV and film industry. There will be four independent clusters of studios and offices with sufficient capacity to cater for multiple concurrent productions, integrated into the existing landscape through a connected green network that brings additional nature to the site.

The team says there will also be a recreational outdoor space of high ecological value together with a Culture and Skills Academy space and a main square with amenities, such as a cafe, for occupiers. The Studio Hub will be a primary point of focus for the site with screening rooms, exhibition space, cafes, restaurants with a Public Right of Way next to it and through the development.

Contact Future Cities Forum to find out how you can join this exciting event in London.


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