The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI Co.) has partnered with property developers Quinn Estates to deliver a £250 million investment in Kent’s TV and Film studios.
This news comes despite the huge shockwaves caused to business by the coronavirus pandemic, and builds on a £50 million development with Twickenham Studios as the company looks to invest £500 million across the country.
The development of the derelict Newtown Railway Works will create four new TV and Film studios in 240,000 square foot of dedicated production space, the plans for which you can see in these images. It is also expected to create jobs in the local area of Ashford.
This space will be split in to 80,000 sq. ft of studios, 80,000 sq. ft of ancillary production space, 50,000 sq. ft of mill store and 30,000 sq. ft of media village. The latter will contain the Future Media Centre, an educational hub made in partnership with the University of Kent and the three other Kent-based universities. It is hoped this will become the largest film school in the country.
In addition, there will be a 120-room hotel, 68 serviced apartments, a creative industries conference centre and a 10,000 sq. ft gym, restaurant and leisure space.
The Thames Estuary Production Corridor will also be involved, helping to boost the creative industries in the area.
Architects Guy Holloway has been contracted to deliver the new build for 2021.
Piers Read and Jeremy Rainbird, founders of TCDI Co., said of the announcement: “As we emerge from COVID-19 there will continue to be unprecedented demands for stage space and a demand for skilled workers which will continue to grow.”
“With A.I. constantly encroaching into the UK employment sector, the creative industry is one of the only industries that robustly defends itself from mass unemployment. British TV and film making is the best in the world thanks to facilities like Ashford International Studios.”
Chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, Adrian Wootton OBE, added: “We are of course operating in unprecedented times and the impact of COVID-19 will undoubtedly be felt deeply by screen industries as we work through this ever-evolving situation.”
“Today’s announcement highlights the industry’s commitment to an ongoing strategy to ensure its sustainability, building on the UK’s rich history of attracting filmmakers, nurturing talent and creating world class content.”