Sky to build studio complex in Elstree

Borehamwood has a long association with film studios, going back over 100 years, while the first for-TV studios were built by ATV in the late 1950s.

Sky Studios Elstree to become a leading European studio with 14 stages and cutting-edge tech 

“Sky Studios Elstree will play a pivotal role in bringing the wealth of UK and European talent and creativity to the world. We know our customers love our award-winning Sky Originals like Chernobyl and our investment in Sky Studios Elstree will enable us to bring more unique stories to more viewers. We are proud to be working with our colleagues at NBCUniversal and Comcast, and our partners Hertsmere Borough Council and L&G to bring this project to life. Together we share a joint vision to create a world-leading production capability that will support the creation of thousands of jobs in the creative sector. We can’t wait to get started.” – Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky

Sky announces its intention to invest in building a new 32-acre, state-of-the-art TV and film studio at Elstree, just north of London, home to the world-renowned Elstree Studios. The proposed development represents a significant new investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s new owner Comcast and in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal. Legal & General will develop its site and provide financing for the project.

In a huge boost to Britain’s creative sector, the new Sky Studios Elstree will lead to the creation of over 2000 new jobs and help fuel the local economy, generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK’s creative economy over the first five years of operation, from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers and house 14 sound stages and become a new home for the best of British and European creative talent.

Subject to planning consent the 32-acre development is expected to open in 2022 and will be able to facilitate the production of several films and TV shows simultaneously, with each of the 14 sound stages covering over 20,000 sqft. Once complete, the site will include production offices, a set construction workshop, a screening cinema and state-of-the-art post-production and digital facilities.

“Sky Studios Elstree will be of immense importance to the UK Film and Television industry – it will not only boost the local economy of Hertsmere and Hertfordshire, but will also have a major impact on the UK’s creative sector as a whole. We are extremely proud that Sky Studios Elstree has chosen to locate near us and we look forward to working closely with them.” – Roger Morris, Managing Director, Elstree Studios

Significant investment in UK and European talent and creative industry by Sky, NBCUniversal and parent company Comcast, working in partnership with Legal & General.

The first especially built TV studios in Borehamwood were built at the ATV Elstree Centre in 1959-61. The first programme televised live from the centre was Emergency Ward 10.

Sky is also committed to supporting the next generation of young and diverse creative talent and will use Sky Studios Elstree to build on its existing work.

The creation of Sky Studios Elstree will provide a new home for Britain’s flourishing creative sector and much-needed space for Europe’s brightest talent. It will provide significant capacity for Sky Studios to produce more original content in-house while continuing to work with independent production companies across Europe.

The new studio space will also play host to major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from NBCUniversal Content Studios. It will also have the capacity to host productions from third-party producers. Sky Studios Elstree will be situated in the borough of Hertsmere. Legal & General are in the process of finalising a detailed design of the scheme and expect to submit a formal planning application early next year.

Sky Studios Elstree will work in close collaboration with Elstree Studios despite both businesses being managed independently of each other. Sky Studios Elstree will be located a Rowley Lane, just a short walk from Elstree Studios. The BBC Elstree studios, also in Borehamwood, officially opened in 1961 as the ATV Elstree Centre. The site was home to the former Neptune Film Studios, the oldest in the area still in use today, having opened in 1914. The television studios began construction in 1959. They were used by Central Television in the early 1980s before being sold to the BBC in 1983. They are currently home to shows such as Children In Need, EastEnders and Holby City.

“Hertsmere Borough Council is delighted by this announcement. This presents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our creative industries in Hertsmere and build on our proud film and television heritage in the Borough. This scheme would bring significant employment opportunities to the region and put Elstree firmly on the global stage, whilst further enhancing our local film tourism. There will be opportunities for people to see the plans and to comment on the proposals once a formal planning application is submitted.” – Sajida Bijle, Interim Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council

ATV Elstree Studios Gallery

The new meets the old. The original Neptune Film Studios production offices, with the new Neptune House of ATV in 1961.

Part of the Neptune Film Studios is demolished to make way for the TV Centre, 1959.

The television studio extention takes shape in 1959.

Studio D under construction, the big entertainment studio that continues to be used by the BBC.

Left the Neptune Film Studios main entrance, Right the ATV Elstree launch promotional material.

The main entrance of the ATV Elstree Television Centre in 1961.

The ATV Elstree gatehouse and signage in 1968.

ATV Elstree Studios sign, at the junction of Eldon Avenue, Borehamwood.

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