Sadiq Khan: ‘Dagenham will be known for films not Ford’s’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on a visit to the London East Business and Technical Park in Dagenham

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on a visit to the London East Business and Technical Park in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

“Films not Ford’s” was the tag-line of the day as Sadiq Khan revealed plans for the capital’s biggest studios on one of the borough’s most important industrial sites.

An artist's impression of the plans

An artist's impression of the plans - Credit: Archant

The Mayor of London enjoyed a minibus tour of Barking and Dagenham this morning that involved officially opening a £3.8million high-tech scientific research and development centre.

After pulling back the red curtains to reveal a special plaque at the The Cube in londoneast-uk, the Labour politician took to the roof of the building in Rainham Road South, Dagenham, for a glimpse of the borough’s future.

“In the 20th century Dagenham was known for Ford, in the 21st-century I think it can be known for film,” said Mr Khan.

“From the feasibility study we’re doing to see if we can get London’s biggest film studios in 25 years to what I’ve seen in relation to affordable studio and affordable live-work space and meeting entrepreneurs and cultural connectors, I’m really impressed by Barking and Dagenham being firmly on the map culturally.”

The council and London Local Enterprise Panel (LEEP) will invest up to £80,000 to develop a business case for the proposed new studios, looking at the demand and economic benefits.

If all goes well, the largest film and TV studio in the capital will be constructed on the former Sanofi site, together with a statue of Dagenham comedian and movie star Dudley Moore.

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But instead of Dallywood or even Hollyham, the new facility will be named Eastbrook.

“It’s a wonderful name that will go with Pinewood and Elstree,” explained council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell.

“It sounds very nice, but do you know what? It’s still made in Dagenham.

“We don’t build cars anymore from Ford’s, we make films.”

As part of a cultural circuit of the borough, the mayoral procession also visited The White House, in Green Lane Dagenham, before Mr Khan met artist and so-called cultural connectors at The Ice House Quarter, in Abbey Road, Barking.