All of the money needed to expand Elstree Studios has been secured.

Owners Hertsmere Borough Council has received the final £6 million it needed which will allow two new soundstages to be built on the site of the former Big Brother House.

Together with the news that Sky will be building a huge studios on the outskirts of Borehamwood, this government funding helps cement the town as the 'British Hollywood' - and according to the council, will provide an economical boost to the local community.

The new facilities will be built where the Big Brother house, now demolished, used to lie.

Borehamwood Times:

Elstree Studios

A council report published in the summer said due to a lack of space, Elstree Studios has had to turn away revenue of around £30 million within the last two years - including 14 television shows, a number of long term drama series and feature films, and four major big budget feature films looking for long-term stage rental.

The new stages and workshops, costing £12 million in total, will enable the studios, currently hosting Strictly Come Dancing, to be able to accommodate more clients - which in turn will lead to more rental income for the council, providing it more money to spend on council services.

As part of the deal, it has been agreed that £100,000 per year from the rental income received by the council will be invested locally into creative industries, including media and creative enterprise and initiatives, equivalent to 30 per cent of the project's profits over the project's life.

Borehamwood Times:

Chairman of Elstree Studios and leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, Morris Bright, said: "Elstree Studios has been the beating heart of our borough for nearly 100 years. Alongside the council's own funding commitment, this agreement with Herts LEP, means we have secured the future of the studios for generations to come.

"Not only is the ongoing vitality of the studios secured, this deal represents a huge opportunity for our residents, businesses and the UK creative sector.

"The creation of two new soundstages and ancillary workshops will result in 800 new jobs, plus 100 new learner and apprenticeship opportunities, at a time when many local people are facing uncertain or bleak employment prospects because of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It also means that income received by the council from the studios can continue to be used to fund vital day-to-day services, such as parks, waste and recycling collection, community grants and street cleaning.

"While Hertsmere and the country as a whole faces unprecedented economic and social challenges, this project and the construction of the multi-million pound Sky Studios Elstree facility down the road, is a ray of light for us all."

Borehamwood Times:

Cllr Bright at Elstree Studios

The expansion, which has planning permission, has been made possible thanks to £6m funding from Hertsmere Borough Council and £6m from the government, with support from the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.