Suffolk

Plans for £4m film studio at Bentwaters airbase approved

A drawing of an artist's impression of the proposed studio site Image copyright Evolution Town Planning
Image caption Vacant buildings at the former Bentwaters base will be converted into use for filming

Plans for a new £4m film studio and set on the site of a former military base have been approved.

Suffolk Coastal District Council unanimously backed plans to transform the 12-acre site at Bentwaters, near Rendlesham.

Eyke Parish Council had objected over concerns about the extra amount of traffic it would lead to.

But councillors said the development would be a boost to the local economy.

Sarah Brown, of Bentwaters Parks Ltd, said the site had been used for filming different productions for several years but there was not enough provision for a feature-film set."This will now put us on the map, giving a decent set-build space so larger features can be filmed all year round," she said.

"A lot of money will spring up around the studios. We get asked to provide set builders, painters, cleaners, caterers and it's a big thing for us to try and get as much local staff as possible."

Image copyright Evolution Town Planning
Image caption Sarah Brown said the film studio complex would give local people the opportunity to work in the industry

Eyke parish councillor Ron Cushing said the council was concerned about the lack of an assessment on the impact on roads in the area.

The development had the backing of Screen Suffolk, a firm tasked by the county council with bringing more television, advert and film productions to the county.

Image copyright BBC/Channel X/Chris Harris
Image caption The BBC One series Detectorists, featuring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones, was filmed in Suffolk

It said Suffolk was perfectly placed for this type of development as it was close enough to London to attract capital-based productions.

BBC One show Detectorists and The Child in Time, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, were recently filmed in the county.

The big and small screen in Suffolk:

  • Akenfield
  • Detectorists
  • Drowning By Numbers
  • Fast and Furious 6
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • Iris
  • Lovejoy
  • The Child in Time
  • Witchfinder General

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