October 5, 2022

BBC Elstree ‘must remain a media production site’

7:13 p.m. August 7, 2022

7:43 am August 7, 2022

The leader of Hertsmere Borough Council has responded to reports in the national media about the potential sale of the BBC Elstree Center – the studios in Hertfordshire where EastEnders is made.

The BBC is reportedly looking to sell the site and lease the EastEnders together, to reduce production costs.

Councilor Morris Bright MBE says BBC Elstree must remain a hub for media production and professional training. The site previously housed City of Holby and Grange Hill.

“The news that the BBC is looking to get rid of its BBC Elstree site is not new, it has just progressed, and what we know now is that the company is open to suggestions and offers as to what what that ‘sale’ might look like.” Cllr Bright said.

“I consider that at a time when the industry is clamoring for more sound stages with rapidly rising studios across the country and particularly in Hertfordshire, where BBC Elstree is based, it would be perverse to consider selling a wasteland industry for development.

“It would result in the loss of sound stages as proposals elsewhere come in for new studios and stages on greenfield sites.”

As well as the BBC Elstree studios where the long-running soap EastEnders is filmed, Hertsmere is also home to the nearby Elstree Film Studios and the new state-of-the-art Sky Studios Elstree complex.

BBC Studioworks, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC providing studio and post-production services, has extended its lease to Elstree Studios where Come dance strictly is filmed.

Cllr Bright added: “Hertsmere Borough Council will be looking for like-minded partners from the TV and film industry to join us and the BBC in ensuring that the site – the earliest and oldest surviving studios of Borehamwood, dating back over 100 years, remains as a place of media production.

“We will speak with the BBC and offer to work with them to find a solution that works for the BBC, the industry and our towns, residents, local jobs and businesses and protects our proud local heritage.”

Earlier this year, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the EastEnders set to film cameos for a special episode of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Elsewhere in Hertfordshire, plans are progressing for Hollywood’s Sunset Studios to create a new TV, film and digital production facility in Waltham Cross on a site just off the M25 at Junction 25.