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We are excited to bring forward proposals for a new film and television studio in Central Bedfordshire – HOP Bedfordshire.

It comprises over 1.3 million ft² of varying production space, plus associated infrastructure. The site creates an advanced and industry-changing standard, which will also be an exciting use of previously-unloved brownfield land bringing a real economic boost to the area.

The site is based near Stewartby. It is bound to the south by Stewartby Way, by Ampthill Road (B350) to the east, to the west by the London Northwestern Railway line; and to the north by undeveloped land. 

It is located approximately 5.5 miles southwest of Bedford Town Centre, 8.6 miles to the east of the M1 motorway (J.13), and 12 miles west of the A1, accessed via the A421 and B530 Ampthill Road. 

Frequent train services run between London and Bedford Station, offering journey times from 35 minutes. Stewartby Station is located within 1 mile to the west, and a new train station is to be built at Wixams, within 1 mile east of the site.

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SITE HISTORY

The site has historically been referred to as Quest Pit, a former clay mineral quarry. Features of the site include access tracks and flooded extraction bowls, with parts of the site up to 12 metres below natural ground level.

This image shows the site as a working quarry prior to its closure. It was decommissioned as a working site in 2008, with rainfall filling the extraction pits which has resulted in the waterbodies that can now be seen as features of the plot.

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Project Benefits

HOP will create a legacy for future generations. The HOP team is committed to forging strong, lasting relationships with schools, universities, community organisations and the film and television industry in Bedfordshire:

Enhanced natural environment

Our specialist team is drawing up plans to protect the water body and the habitats, delivering net biodiversity gain

Jobs for local people

The studio will be provided for by local tradesmen and service providers, creating a range of employment opportunities

Creative Careers

Opportunities will be opened for those who wish to work directly with the productions themselves – from engineers to make-up artists and everything in between

Apprenticeships and Training

The studio will generate training and apprenticeship opportunities creating a pool of talent from the local area. Our goal is to provide an employment destination for all those studying creative higher education at the local university and colleges

Direct Investment in Central Bedfordshire

HOP will attract a huge amount of investment, in turn allowing the allocation of funds to improve local infrastructure and services. The studio will create jobs and we are excited to be working with local schools and colleges to nurture new, home-grown talent  

PROJECT TIMELINE

Please note the timeline is indicative and may be subject to change:

Public Consultation 1

Wed 20th April- Wed 4th May

Feedback review

May-June

Public consultation 2

June 2022

Target submissions

Summer 2022

Construction begins

Early 2023

Operations start

Early 2024