Halo Post Production has taken over the lease of Pepper Post’s former premises on Noel Street.

The Soho facility, which has been vacant since Pepper was put into insolvent liquidation in June, will be used by Halo as the base for its expansion into film sound.

The Noel Street building is already home to a film mixing stage, with a Dolby Premier mixing theatre, a DFC Gemini desk and a Barco HD projector. It also contains three sound suites and an additional 18 offline suites and grading rooms that will be used across documentary, drama and film work.

Halo chief executive John Rogerson said the UK was in “desperate” need of quality dubbing stages for mixing films.

“Also, you don’t have to look far to see that the model of building higher in TV is not always successful,” he told Broadcast.

“Noel Street offers an opportunity to grow our business in new areas, and will further position us as central within the Soho TV and film post production arena”.

An unnamed feature film is currently using the film mixing stage, and the remainder of the facility will open in phases through to January 2012.

“At the moment, clients can dry hire the film theatre and bring their own mixers, and we’ll probably push that model until Christmas,” Rogerson said.

This move represents a longheld ambition to enter the film mixing market, and we are committed to strengthening the entire facility through investment and better utilisation of the space.”

Studios one and three will have their Dolby licenses reinstated and additional upgrades are planned to offer 7.1 surround sound for the mixing of features, as well as theatrical trailers and commercials. The other studios will operate 5.1 for TV work.

There are no immediate plans for Halo to move out of its Great Portland Street and Margaret Street sites, but Rogerson said the addition of Noel Street was part of a “belt and braces” approach to guard against any disruption caused by possible development work on Great Portland Street.

Future Film Group put Pepper Post into insolvent liquidation in June this year citing “market conditions”. Liquidators failed to find anyone to take over Pepper’s other Soho site, on Greek Street.