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Renovation of east London studios expands capital’s film and TV industry

Christian Fernsby |
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hailed the potential of the capital’s multi-billion pound TV and film industry to support the UK’s economy as he visited the newly renovated 3 Mills Studios in east London.

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The Mayor unveiled the completed £6m development of the studios that has seen upgrades to several of the site’s historic buildings, the creation of more than 10,000sqft of creative workspace and boosting the environmental sustainability, climate resilience and the economic viability of these important heritage assets.

3 Mills Studios has provided a stage for numerous world-class TV series and films including Emmy award-winning US production The Great and acclaimed film Never Let Me Go.

The transformation will enable the studios to expand its offering to film, TV productions and theatre thanks to £6 million funding from the Mayor and the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).

The cultural and creative industries have been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic and spiralling cost of operating, but film and TV productions made in and around London over the last five years have generated more than £10bn or the UK’s economy.

The industry will play a key role in helping to drive the country’s economy forward over the next few years, and the Mayor committed to doing all he can to support it after the capital historically had to turn away multimillion dollar US film and TV productions due to lack of studio space.

London is now experiencing an increase in the development of new and upgraded studio spaces, with £3m, secured by the Mayor, for this major upgrade to 3 Mills Studios and £5m to open London’s largest new studio for 25 years in Dagenham, Eastbrook Studios.

The Mayor's funding for 3 Mills and Dagenham’s Eastbrook Studios is part of his £22.1m allocation from the Government’s £900m Getting Building Fund. Together these projects are helping to create more than 1,000 jobs, from marketing and design to animators and camera crew.

The works at 3 Mills Studios have been made possible by funding from the Government’s Getting Building Fund via a £3m grant allocated by the Mayor of London, and a further £1.9m funding has been provided through the LLDC’s Community Infrastructure Fund.

The studios are part of growing cultural investment across east London, including through East Bank – the new £1.1bn powerhouse for culture and education on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – and the Thames Estuary Production Corridor - a creative partnership across east London, the North Kent Coast and South Essex with the potential to create 21,000 jobs and generate £3.7bn for the UK economy.

London is the driving force of the film and TV industry in the UK, with 34 film and TV crews shooting on the streets of the capital on any one day.

The Mayor has made huge strides to unlock the potential of the film industry, investing more than £19m million over the last five years to support young people and expand studio space. He continues to champion the industry by supporting a range of projects to unlock creative jobs for Londoners from underrepresented communities.

This includes a partnership with NBCUniversal giving young Londoners the chance to work behind-the-camera on TV and film productions.

His Creative Skills Academy, a partnership with Film London and Capital City College Group, is connecting people who have traditionally been underrepresented in the industry with opportunities for employment and freelance work.

Film London’s Equal Access Network, which he funds, is working with high profile employers such as ITV, Sony and Studio Canal to help them diversify their workforce, and the Mayor has secured nearly £10 million in funding to build new film studios that will create 1,200 jobs.

In May the Mayor partnered with industry leaders in film, music, design, publishing, architecture and theatre to encourage young Londoners from all backgrounds to consider a future in the capital’s world-beating creative industries.

The Unpacking the Credits programme shows young people aged 11-15 how this wide variety of roles and skills are involved in creating the final product seen on stage and screen, opening up these careers to young people who may not have traditionally considered this kind of job.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is a global hub for film and television and 3 Mills has been pivotal in the success of the industry.

"The restoration of these historic buildings not only offers much needed space for more industry production to take place in the capital, but also supports over a thousand jobs in the heart of east London. It will enable the studios to play a major role as the capital’s film and TV industries support our economy and we build a better London for everyone.”

The film industry is estimated to be worth over £7bn by 2024/25 and expected to need to fill more than 21,000 jobs in the next few years.

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