Our masterplan for a new film and television studio campus in central Bedfordshire near Stewartby has been submitted for planning.
The scheme redevelops a 143-acre site and former clay mineral quarry to provide over 1.75m sq ft flexible studio space together with on-site accommodation, amenities and a re-wilded water body and canal for developer VERB and film studio operator Quartermaster. Home of Production (HOP) Bedfordshire will set a new benchmark for sustainable studio facilities in the UK and will be the first facility designed by producers, for producers – also incorporating premium facilities aimed at squarely addressing the need for production crews to achieve better balance in their work environment.
The former quarry, known as Quest Pit, opened in 1983 and was the last active brick pit in Bedfordshire when it closed in 2008, leaving a series of redundant brownfield sites with access tracks and flooded extraction bowls, and parts of the site up to 12 metres below natural ground level.
The masterplan addresses this by placing four separate 430,500 sq ft production units on a 70-acre platform, four metres above the water level. These units centre around a restaurant and activity zone, visually linked to two large lakes that have formed over time due to the natural flooding of extraction pits. Workshops envelop studio space, while an outer loop road provides access to supporting facilities. Importantly, the land has already been purchased and realisation of the masterplan is fully-financed – meaning that a planning decision can move rapidly to commencement of the construction programme.