A tender process was initially opened by the site's owner, Hertsmere Borough Council, last year ( Broadcast, 14.4.05). However, it was closed in October 2005 after it failed to attract a suitable tenant.
Hertsmere Council's executive director, Eden Lee, blamed turbulence in the film industry and the Chancellor of the Exchequer's indecision over tax breaks last year. However, he added that the studios would be contacting a foreign studio and a venture capitalist, which had expressed an interest after the closing date of the tender last year.
'Some of Elstree's buildings are getting very tired and need refreshing or replacing - but we need to spend our money on other resources,' he said.
The council has said that the studios would need an injection of at least £20m to secure their long-term future.