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Former English quarry set to be transformed into film studio

House of Production

An abandoned English quarry is set to be transformed into a large-scale film studio by the House of Production after plans were approved by the Central Bedfordshire Council. 

The Stewartby quarry has a level of prestige to it as the last active brick pit in the local area of Bedfordshire. It was known for extracting Oxford clay before it ceased operations in 2008.  

It has been over a decade since it was actively used as a productive site. House of Production is set to build and run the studio which would include stages, production offices, workshops and screening rooms.  

The development is expected to deliver more than 700 jobs during construction, According to House of Production, creating up to 3,800 jobs would be a long-term benefit.

There has been significant excitement from members of the local community about the project’s potential to transform the former quarry site.   

House of Production is planning for the project to be a “sustainable development” on the 1,587,000 sq ft (14.7 hectares) site with an operational date of 2025. According to the company, it would be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, with at least half of this generated on-site.

“There has never been an application to date that has provided so many benefits for the residents of Central Bedfordshire,” Councillor Nigel Young said at a council meeting.  

 The development has been estimated to be capable of £242m ($460m AUD) per year in community benefit in documents supplied to the Central Bedfordshire Council.  

According to HOP’s media release, most of the community has positively responded to the development. From over 200 responses contributed as part of the consultation, 89 per cent were supporting the proposal.   

Providing a major indication both that the masterplan is a thoughtful and appealing one, but also that the majority of locals are receptive to the scheme as one that offers vast potential for positive impact in the area,” HOP’s media release stated. 

 

“The decision represents the successful outcome of nearly two years’ of hard work by Quartermaster, VERB and our partners in planning delivery. The entire team are hugely excited to move onto the next steps in fulfilling the vision for HOP, and bringing to life our plans to offer an unrivalled working experience for film and television production.”

 

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