New studio operator Home of Production (HOP) Studios, has launched with a major development planned for Bedfordshire.

Spearheaded by Katya Baker of Quartermaster Entertainment, HOP Studios is a joint venture with technical real estate investor VERB, a Cathexis company.

The new outfit will provide “fully flexible sound stages created by producers, for producers, that will cater to the specific needs of production workflows.”

The sustainable developments will include creche facilities, be accessible site-wide and have a “balanced environment around wellness and work.”

The venture will “work with communities, educational bodies and training schemes in order to become an intrinsic part of the local economy, working on training new entrants into the entertainment industry and employing locally wherever possible.”

The first site is earmarked for Bedfordshire, subject to planning with the process “well underway with extensive consultation with local planning”  and a public consultation on the proposed plans taking place during April 2022 and then again in June 2022.

The 1.3million sq ft site will provide substantial accommodation across sound stages, workshops, storage and offices with additional planned space for supporting craftspeople and services in an easy access creative hub. The group’s ambition is to eventually create a network across the UK and internationally.

Baker said: “HOP Studios really will be the Home of Production. Having spent many years working in the film and TV industry, I have had my fair share of studio experiences, both good and bad. Whereas technology, the broadcasting landscape and working culture have moved at pace, facilities have not; no one can claim to have the capabilities to truly cater for all the complexities of modern productions. Having explored the ongoing lack of capacity despite the various studio expansions, the need for new studio space is very real, and not just space.

“The wellbeing of production crews also needs to be addressed within their working environment. HOP Studios is here to shake up the facilities sector and provide modern working environments for modern, TV and film producers.

“The HOP philosophy is about inspirational and creative working environments. We want our studio spaces to work to the needs of producers and the whole production team, enabling everyone to be at their most productive through providing state-of-the-art, sustainable, flexible, accessible spaces that will really help with the mental and physical challenges of production. We will also work closely with local communities, feeding into the local economy but also with training opportunities to find the next generation of film makers who will continue to grow the UK as a place of excellence within the global entertainment industry.”

Adam Calvin, Director, VERB, commented; “VERB brings a wealth of development and construction experience from all of the Cathexis group companies. It is this experience, coupled with the industry expertise and producer-led insight of Katya and QMS, which will deliver the Home of Production Bedford. The plans for HOP represent a destination which will become one of the most sought-after in the industry – Crucially incorporating a real focus on the modernity and effectiveness of the amenities as critical to its success.”

HOP Studios plans for the Bedfordshire site to be ready for booking in 2024, subject to planning.


Jon Creamer

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