Barking and Dagenham Council has announced that the planned Made in Dagenham studios will be constructed and operated by US-based studios company by Pacifica Ventures in partnership with Media Content Capital (MCC).
Along with12 state-of-the-art sound stages – covering 264,000 sq ft – the plans from Pacifica Ventures – MCC include workshops and warehouses for lighting and grip operations, and at least 95,000 sq ft of production office space; an extensive post-production, visual effects and media technology complex; specially rigged stages for job training programmes with local educational institutions; multi-format large-screen theatre auditorium; a major event centre and large screen auditorium including VR and immersive 3D attractions with studio tours, and retail and dining outlets.

Pacifica Ventures currently operates studios in Albuquerque, Connecticut and Sun Center Studios in Philadelphia.

Darren Rodwell, the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council said: “I take great pleasure in announcing Pacifica Ventures in partnership with MCC as our preferred partner.  In the face of fierce competition, Pacifica Ventures – MCC emerged as the clear winner based on their track record and commitment to making the film and television studios a cultural and community asset for the borough, for London and for Britain’s film industry. The complex will be an exciting new visitor destination too –  an east end epic – that will create thousands of quality jobs and educational opportunities in a huge range of disciplines. I am confident that it will make Barking and Dagenham more famous for films than Fords.”
Dana Arnold, CEO of Pacifica Ventures, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Be First in the creation of a world-class film and television production complex that will become the pride of Dagenham and Greater London.”  Sasha Shapiro, Managing Director of Media Content Capital, added, “We are excited to be making our London production home at the brand-new Dagenham Studios.”
The announcement was made after Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, formally announced the competition to find a partner back in February. Film London and property consultants, Lambert Smith Hampton, acted as technical and commercial advisors to the £100 million deal throughout the competition. 

Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “I would like to thank all the bidders for the excellent quality of their submissions. Our team rigorously assessed each but a clear winner emerged.  Subject to detailed negotiations and exchange of contracts with Pacifica Ventures – MCC we expect construction of the media and TV complex to get underway in 2019.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is a global capital for film – with more than 40 film crews on our streets every day. I’m delighted that Pacifica Ventures has been announced as the preferred bidder – their exceptional track record will further cement the capital’s position as a world-leading film-making city. This development will bring hundreds of new jobs to the area – from carpenters to camera crew – and will bring big Hollywood blockbusters to Barking and Dagenham.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “This is an exciting development for both London and the UK, bringing as it does new infrastructure and much-needed additional capacity, while also representing a huge vote of confidence in our city’s ability to deliver world class content, skills and creativity. Securing major international investment is an incredible success for Barking and Dagenham, and we wholeheartedly congratulate Cllr Darren Rodwell and his team for the leadership and vision they have shown in making this happen. Pacifica Ventures – MCC has a significant track record managing major facilities and serving the global industry, and this is vital when it comes to ensuring the new studio thrives. We’re looking forward to working with both Pacifica Ventures – MCC and Be First to promote the new facilities, bring major titles to east London and, ultimately, champion the capital as the best city in the world to make big-budget film and TV.”
Chris Berry, Director – Head of Media, at LSH commented: "This project has really ‘lit up’ the imagination. We’ve seen mass global interest resulting in three competitive, high quality offers which is a fantastic injection of confidence for the capital. It also marks a significant shift in London’s creative focus from west to east.”

Jon Creamer

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