Sky Studios Elstree receives planning approval

UMC Architects are extremely proud to be supporting Legal and General Group with the architectural design of a new state of the art TV and film studio at Elstree for Sky. The project has received the green light to proceed with construction works following a unanimous Planning decision by Hertsmere Borough Council.

The development represents a significant investment in the UK and European creative economy and will be made with the backing of Sky’s owner Comcast and in partnership with sister-company NBCUniversal. Legal & General will be financing and developing the scheme, which is located in the borough of Hertsmere, north of London. Work to clear the site ready for construction begins this month and will commence with strict safety and social distancing guidelines.

The final design for Sky Studios Elstree now sees 12 sound stages on site, with the ability to merge together and sub-divide multiple sound stages simultaneously, providing flexibility and scalability to accommodate productions of all sizes.This means that the biggest sound stages on site can now increase to cover 60,000 sqft if needed, or reduce to much smaller segregated studios, simultaneously providing Sky Studios and NBCUniversal a COVID-19-ready set up for the future. The production facilities and digital suites on site will also be set up to facilitate remote working.

Once operational, the scheme will provide much needed space for the ongoing boom in film and TV production in the UK – attracting the European and international creative community to do their best work in Britain. The total area of the site will cover the equivalent of 17 football pitches.

Sky Studios Elstree will become home to a host of Sky Originals, created by Sky Studios, as well as major film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title, and television series from Universal Studio Group. It will also have capacity to host productions from third party producers.

In line with Sky’s commitment to become Net Zero Carbon by 2030, and matching Legal & General’s drive to deliver major ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) projects, it is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will become the most sustainable film and TV production site in the world when it opens in 2022. As part of the design process, the businesses have actively looked at all sustainable development opportunities, with the project set to use reduced embodied carbon in construction. It is expected that Sky Studios Elstree will have the capability to generate 20% of its own energy on site through solar energy. No gas or fossil fuels will be used to power day-to-day operations and Sky will also harvest rainwater for use on site.

Nigel Wilson, CEO, Legal & General, said: “This is a critical investment for the UK’s bounce back. Landmark construction projects are rocket fuel for the economy and investing in our creative industries has never been more important. As a global leader, Sky attracts and retains the best talent, continuing to bolster the UK’s entertainment sector whilst driving job creation and economic growth.

UMC ARCHITECTS 2020 |