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Ashford film studio gets greenlight

£250 million development said to be biggest single investment in UK studios

Ashford International Film Studios has been granted planning permission from its local authority.

To be built on the site of a former railway works with a UK studios investment fund, the £250 million production facility will include four TV and film studios over more than 22,000 square meters.

The decision was made in a virtual council meeting, allowing studio investment group The Creative District Improvement Company (TCDI) and developers Quinn Estates to proceed with the project, which is claimed to be the biggest single investment in UK TV and film studios.

Planned to open in early 2022, the facility is expected to create 3,000 jobs, capitalising on the increased production demand from US streaming giants; Ashford’s Eurostar train stop connects to Amsterdam, where Netflix has its European hub.

The development will also include a university aimed at TV, film, animation and post production tech with space for around 200 graduates each year, as well as a hotel to accommodate those working at the studios.

TCDI developers Jeremy Rainbird and Piers Read said: “Amidst this current global pandemic, it is extremely exciting to be given the go-ahead by the council to start work on what will become one of the UK’s biggest creative hubs.

“Global streaming giants have already expressed interest in the scheme as demand for their services booms and before there is a huge backlog in production, as people stay at home and burn through original content at record levels.”