Hertfordshire LEP provided a loan to clear a backlot at Elstree Studios of the 30 year-old ‘mound’ – 4 acres and 33,000 cubic metres of asbestos-contaminated spoilt – to support the Studios’ long-standing plans to expand. It intended to build film and television facilities including a third large stage, together with additional business premises.
Hertfordshire LEP wanted to allow the Studios to expand, building on its fantastic film heritage, and allowing it to attract major film and television productions. The LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan prioritised investment in our key sectors, including film and television, to maintain their international significance. It also focuses on enabling growth, investment and job creation.
The new backlot, cleared with the assistance of the loan, led to the Studios successfully securing the contract for the £100m Netflix series The Crown. Elstree has been its base of operations since 2015, creating over 400 jobs to date and £3.6m leverage. It is hoped it will continue filming there to 2019.
The economic impact has been huge. Hertsmere Borough Council, owner of the Studios, achieves £1.4m in annual revenue and around 400 additional personnel have been employed for The Crown.
The Council calculates spending in the local economy to have reached £17,000 per day during television productions and £30,000 per day during film productions since the backlot was cleared.
Plans are being progressed to build a new 21,000 sq. ft. stage at the rear of the site, similar to the highly successful George Lucas stage.
The project received a £1m loan from our Growing Places Fund.