The development of additional studio space at Elstree Studios is edging closer as levelling works of a four-acre site at the facility near completion.

The site, at the rear of the Borehamwood facility, comprises more than a quarter of the useable space at Elstree Studios. 

It has remained unused for nearly 30 years due to the depositing of contaminated materials, including cement-based asbestos, prior to the council securing ownership of the studios in 1997.

Some 33,700 cubic metres of spoil has now been removed from the site.

Managing director of Elstree Studios Roger Morris said: “The industry needs more production space.

“Elstree Studios has re-established itself as one of the top UK studios attracting work from across the film and television industry including many major Hollywood productions. 

“New development at our site will allow the studios to take advantage of an expanding market.

“In recent years, Elstree has managed to capture many of the major television productions in the UK and a number of major international feature films.

“We look forward to having more space to meet our clients’ needs in the years ahead.”

The project has been funded by a £2m loan from Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund.

The remaining £2.5m has been provided by the council.   

The council’s chief executive Donald Graham added: “Investment from both the council and the Local Enterprise Partnership reflects the importance of the Elstree Studios site to the Borough of Hertsmere.

“The clearance of the mound has been an impressive project and has been achieved without disruption to a number of high-profile productions that are staged there.

“I’m looking forward to the studios moving ahead with this exciting project for the benefit of both the media industry and the residents of Hertsmere.  

“The council will be developing proposals over the next three months for utilising this space that reflect both the long term ambitions of our studios and the industry’s needs.”