Wroughton Airfield hangar to turn into movie studio

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Image source, Google
Image caption,
The former RAF airfield at Wroughton

A hangar at the former Wroughton Airfield is to be converted into a movie studio.

The company behind the idea wants to use the former distribution warehouse to shoot ten feature-length films over twelve years.

Dignus Films says it could be worth "£60,000-70,000 per production day" to the local economy.

Swindon Borough Council approved the plan despite local concerns about a potential increase in traffic.

Writer and director Sean Robinson and producer Tyrone Edwards, who set up Dignus Films, say they want to use the hangar as "the company's main shooting stage".

"It also facilitates films sets, crew and tooling equipment within the adjacent workshops."

They say the hangar would not need significant changes, but would be carrying out essential repairs, in particular to a leaking roof, to make sure it was weather-proof and safe for a film crew and cast.

Access questions

The impact of traffic heading to the new studios was a concern both to council officers and locals.

One resident of Burderop asked planners: "How are 150 people per day going to access the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty site? Even if this number is 75 the same questions still apply re hard standing, parking, and access.

"How are trailers providing food for 150 people per day and trailers and HGVs articulated lorries etc to carry infrastructure going to access the site?"

Wroughton Parish council raised no objection, and when the film company wrote to the borough council to say while it believed the scheme would provide employment for up to 200 people at a time, only 100 people would be on site at once.

The officer said: "The film studios would generate relatively low levels of goods vehicle traffic, falling below the levels of HGV-traffic that would be expected were the hangar to be brought back into its historic and permitted use as a distribution warehouse."

Wroughton Airfield has been a film location before; from 2016 to 2019 it was used as the test track for the Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour, which featured the former Top Gear presenters.

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