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Planning permission granted for 4D Studio Architects proposals for Crown Works Studios

By March 26, 2024No Comments
Phase 1 of the studios


4D Studio Architects has won approval for one of the largest film and television making complexes in Europe on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland that will make a significant contribution to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Planning permission has now been granted for Crown Works Studios, which is expected to create thousands of jobs across the North East. The proposals were voted through by Sunderland City Council’s planning and highways committee on Monday, March 25.

This comes after a Budget announcement of £37 million of Government grants plus new fundraising powers, which will enable the North East Mayoral Combined Authority (NEMCA) to help deliver this regeneration project.

The film studios project is a 154,215sqm development on either side of the Northern Spire Bridge. The development is a joint venture between Cain International and entertainment company Fulwell73, the company behind The Kardashians, Friends, the Reunion, and Sunderland Til I Die. When complete, the working studio site is expected to create 8,450 jobs across the North East over the next decade. The project has Sunderland City Council as a ‘strategic partner’.

Academy award winner David Parfitt, who is chair of North East Screen, said: “Sunderland’s Crown Works Studios is significant in ensuring that local industry talent and businesses have a place they can create global film and high-end TV content without having to relocate to other areas of the UK.

The lead architect for Crown Works Studios, John Muir – founder of 4D Studio Architects – says, “the region is now set to become a major destination for film and high-end TV production intended to transform the local economy by creating a creative industrial revolution in one of the UK’s most exciting sectors’, pumping more than £300million a year into the regional economy. The development will enable the North East to play a far greater role in the future growth of the UK’s offer to the global film and high-end TV industry.

The film and television studios will include 19 premium sound stages, offices, workshops, a vendor village, and backlot – all built on a brownfield site on the banks of the River Wear – providing the infrastructure required to support blockbuster productions, as well as smaller scale projects and television streaming.

Planned to be delivered in three phases, work on the scheme is set to start this year with the final phase to complete by 2027.

It will enable the region to become an international centre for broadcast and film production, creating thousands of jobs and economic prosperity in the process.

Boosting the North East’s position as a vibrant centre for the creative and visual arts, the ambitious plans are expected to deliver a huge contribution to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda through the creation of the largest studio film complex outside of London and the South East.

“The project is supported by Sunderland City Council, which has brought together a number of key partners to work with the investors to secure planning around the development of the skills-base needed to support the scheme.”

 The total value of UK screen is forecast to rise to £7.5billion by 2025, generating an estimate of in excess of 100,000 jobs in the UK.

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