The new studio complex – the size of 17 football pitches -- will provide more than 2,000 jobs when it opens in 2022 and is expected to generate film and television production worth £3 billion over its first five years of operation.
Sky Studios Elstree will rank in size – and potential importance – with the world-renowned Elstree Studios, where extra studio space is planned, and BBC Elstree, home of EastEnders and other BBC productions.
Councillor Morris Bright, Hertsmere’s council leader, hailed the go ahead as heralding a major injection of skills and expertise that would strengthen creative industries in the area.
“Sky Studios Elstree’s huge production spend will provide a massive boost to the local economy and is a moment of huge pride for residents and businesses.
“With the council-owned Elstree Studios, nearby BBC Elstree and now Sky Studios Elstree, this really does mean the return of the British Hollywood to Hertsmere.”
Sky Studios Elstree is a joint project between Sky’s owners Comcast, NBC Universal and Legal and General and the complex will cost £230 million.
The 28-acre site off Rowley Lane was formerly in the Green Belt but was recently designated by Hertsmere for employment development.
An earlier planning application, approved in May, gave permission for preparatory work to start on the site ready for construction to begin.
The project will create 900 jobs during construction in 2020 and 2021 and a further 1,500 posts once the studios are operational.
Full-time roles will include a significant number of production jobs alongside roles supporting the operation of the studios.
There will be 12 sound stages on the site, with the ability to merge together and subdivide.
This means the biggest sound stages on the site can increase to cover 60,000 square feet if needed or reduce to much small segregated studios providing a Covid-19 ready layout for the future.
In its statement welcoming approval, Sky said the new studios would provide much needed space for the ongoing boom in film and television production work in the UK.
Elstree will become home to a host of Sky Originals, as well as major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, and television series from Universal Studio Group.
Sky Studios says it is committed to supporting the next generation of young and diverse talent and will use Elstree to build on its existing work in this area which includes Sky Academy Studios and Mama Youth Project, an initiative to equip young people aged 18-25 from under-represented groups, to work in the television industry.
Preparatory work has started off Rowley Lane, Boreham Wood, on the new Sky Studios Elstree. From left to right, Nigel Wilson, chief executive officer Legal and General, Helen Parker, NBC Universal, Caroline Cooper, chief finance officer Sky Studios, and Councillor Morris Bright, leader Hertsmere Borough Council.