Facility will include over 1.75 million sq ft flexible studio space, on-site accommodation, amenities and a re-wilded water body and canal

Home of Production Bedfordshire 02 (c) CorkeWallis and V1

Architecture firm Scott Brownrigg has submitted a planning application for a new studio complex near Stewartby, central Bedfordshire.

The plans aim to redevelop a 143-acre site, that was formerly a clay mineral quarry. It aims to provide over 1.75m sq ft flexible studio space together with on-site accommodation, amenities and a re-wilded water body and canal for developer VERB and film studio operator Quartermaster. Engineering firm SWECO has also had input into the plans. 

Home Of Production Bedfordshire aims to be sustainable and have facilities aimed at improving work/life balance. The land has already been purchased, and financing is already in place for the plan, so construction would begin in early 2023 if it is approved.

Home of Production Bedfordshire 01 (c) CorkeWallis and V1

With parts of the site up to 12 metres below natural ground level, the plan includes placing four separate 430,500 sq ft production units on a 70-acre platform, four metres above the water level. These units centre around a restaurant and activity zone, visually linked to two large lakes that have formed over time due to the natural flooding of extraction pits. Workshops envelop studio space, while an outer loop road provides access to supporting facilities. 

Home of Production Bedfordshire 03 (c) CorkeWallis and V1

MacFarlane Associates has developed a landscaping strategy that includes the introduction of ecological corridors across the site and new wetland and floating reed beds to create habitats for future and existing wildlife species. Buildings will be positioned in the valley base, with trees around the perimeter to reduce the visual impact. 

The group is targeting BREEAM Excellent for the build whilst also installing PV solar panels across the site to supply somewhere between 50-85% of power dependent on occupation levels at a given time. In addition, a transport hub will connect the site to the local bus network with an arrival point for cyclists, pedestrians and coaches. New pedestrian links and walking routes will line the site’s parameter, with widened pavements to enhance usability and safety provided throughout.