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From Citizen Kane To Dagenham: U.S. Firm Invests £300M In East London Film Studio Property

Eastbrook Studio

U.S. investor Hackman Capital has agreed a deal to build a new film studio in Dagenham, east London, as studio real estate continues to grow as a sector in the UK.

LA-based Hackman Capital, which owns assets in major markets across the U.S. including film studios where Citizen Kane, ET and The Sopranos were filmed, has agreed a deal with local authority Barking & Dagenham council to build a new facility called Eastbrook Studios London. 

The project comes with planning permission, and Hackman’s plans include up to 12 soundstages and 3 acres of backlot, offices and ancillary space, totalling over half a million square feet. 

Hackman has taken a 250-year lease on the site. Building work is set to start next year and filming could start as early as mid-2022 with the studio fully operational by 2023, said LSH’s Chris Berry, who brokered the deal. Hackman subsidiary MBS will operate the site. 

Film studio property around London has proved a canny investment for other real estate firms in recent years. 

Private equity real estate firm Aermont bought the Pinewood studio company, which has studios to the west of London, for £365M in 2016, and last year refinanced the company at a valuation of £1.15B after Disney and Netflix took long-term leases at its sites. 

Earlier this year, Blackstone took a 49% stake in Hudson Bay’s portfolio of film studio property in LA valued at $1.65B.

London has a hugely successful film and TV industry, with more than £3.6B spent in the UK last year on film and high-end television production, LSH said.