Movie bosses visit the site of new ‘Hollywood’ film studios in Dagenham

Left to right: Cllr Darren Rodwell, Sasha Shapiro, managing director of Media Content Capital, Dana

Left to right: Cllr Darren Rodwell, Sasha Shapiro, managing director of Media Content Capital, Dana Arnold, chief executive officer of Pacifica Ventures and Pat Hayes, MD of Be First. Pic: Andrew Baker. - Credit: Archant

Plans for the biggest film studios in London took another step towards reality this week when the preferred bidders visited the site in Dagenham.

How the new film studios could look. Picture: LBBD

How the new film studios could look. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Dana Arnold, chief executive officer of Pacifica Ventures and Sasha Shapiro, managing director of Media Content Capital, met with Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, to see how the plans by Be First are progressing.

Be First is the council’s regeneration company and will be delivering the studio, which includes sound stages, media office, and a public entertainment complex.

Cllr Rodwell, Pat Hayes, Be First’s managing director, and the US-based businessmen also met up with local education chiefs, media students from Barking and Dagenham College and Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London.

Councillor Rodwell said: “It’s great to meet Dana and Sasha.


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“Their presence here confirms their commitment to help make our dream to have London’s largest film and TV studios come true, so that Dagenham becomes London’s Hollywood.

“Film and the creative industries are a massive growth sector, so I was especially pleased to be able to introduce them to some of the key players in our local educational scene to start the conversation about jobs and opportunities for local young people.”

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Pacifica has studios in Albuquerque, Connecticut and Philadelphia, the former of which has overseen the production of Terminator: Salvation, The Avengers, The Lone Ranger and AMC’s Breaking Bad.

Mr Arnold said: “We are excited to be meeting with Darren to report our progress in the effort to create not only the largest new, state of the art film and television production facility in London, but also what we believe will become the new media hub for all of London.

“We believe it will attract not only production but also every level of media creation, from preproduction, visual effects, and post production to development and delivery of all types of digital media. The opportunity to create a digital media centre that will attract and hire the finest craftspeople and artisans in the U.K. is an honour.”

A feasibility study estimates the 20-acre studio will create 780 jobs and bring £35million to the national economy.

Pat Hayes, managing director of Be First, said: “Our plans are very much on course to deliver what will be London’s largest studios so we can make Dagenham as famous for films as it is for Fords.”

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