Building work for a new film studios in Borehamwood is to begin almost immediately after planning approval was granted last night.

Sky says it is “thankful” to Hertsmere Borough Council for supporting its proposals for a “world leading” production studio on the edge of the town.

The planning committee were unanimous in their support for Sky Studios Elstree during a meeting which took place virtually last night.

The green light was given for a film studios on land between Rowley Lane and the A1, which will be operated by Sky’s owner Comcast and in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal.

Council leader Morris Bright says the studios means the return of the “British Hollywood” to Borehamwood, with Elstree Studios and the BBC Elstree Centre already successfully operating in the town, adding this is a “huge moment of pride” for Hertsmere.

Watford Observer:

left to right: Nigel Wilson (CEO, Legal & General), Helen Parker (EVP of Universal Pictures Content Group, NBCUniversal), Caroline Cooper (chief financial officer, Sky Studios) and Cllr. Morris Bright, leader of Hertsmere Borough Council

Politicians in Hertsmere are excited about the economic boost this is likely to give to the town, as well as the number of jobs the studios will create.

Sky estimate the studios will lead to the creation of more than 2,000 jobs in the area, including 900 during the construction phase and 1,500 once the studio is operational.

The full-time roles will include a significant number of production jobs alongside roles supporting the running of the studio’s operations.

Sky is also committed to supporting the next generation of young and diverse creative talent and will use Sky Studios Elstree to build on its existing work in this area.

Caroline Cooper, chief financial officer, Sky Studios, said: “Even during challenging economic times, Sky Studios Elstree represents Sky’s continued commitment to the UK’s cultural economy, as well as our goal to recruit, train and develop the leading creative talent of tomorrow.

“We would like to thank Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden MP, Cllr. Morris Bright MBE and Hertsmere Borough Council for supporting the project, providing useful guidance and feedback to ensure the project further boosts the local economy and celebrates the best of British and international creativity.”

Watford Observer:

The proposed design for the entrance to Sky Studios Elstree

Watford Observer:

Culture Secretary and Hertsmere MP Mr Dowden, said: "The film and TV industry plays a vital role in the UK's economy."

“Sky Studios Elstree will become home to the best-loved films and TV shows of the future, championing British creativity on the global stage. It will also bring investment, jobs and opportunities to people across Hertsmere.”

And the approval has been welcomed by Elstree Studios managing director Roger Morris who described the studios as a "major coup" for the UK creative industries.

The final design for Sky Studios Elstree includes 12 sound stages on the site, alongside production offices and a multi-storey car park.

There will likely be some changes to the road network in Elstree Way and Rowley Lane to accommodate for the increase in traffic.

An electric shuttle bus is also set to run between the studios and Elstree & Borehamwood station.

Watford Observer:

This land outlined in red is where the studios will be built

Work to clear the site, which has not been green belt land for seven years and was designated by the council as an employment space in 2013, will begin this month.

Sky hope to open the studios in 2022 and expect it to be the “most sustainable film and TV production site in the world”, with capability to generate 20 per cent of its own energy on site through solar energy.

No gas or fossil fuels will be used to power day-to-day operations and Sky will also harvest rainwater for use on site.

The studios will be financed and developed by landowners Legal & General.

Over the first five years of operation, it is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will generate up to an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK’s creative economy from Sky, NBCUniversal and other producers.

Sky Studios Elstree will become home to a host of Sky Originals, created by Sky Studios, as well as major film productions from Universal Pictures and others.

The plans were approved subject to a section 106 agreement between Legal & General and the council.

Read our live blog from the council meeting here