At the end of 2020 a surprise announcement was made about a new studio centre which opened in the spring of 2021. The scheme has been funded by Arts Alliance Ventures – a very successful investment firm that specialises in supporting arts-related businesses.
The Garden Studios occupy some industrial units in Waxlow Road, Park Royal. They contain 3 sound stages and a specialised Virtual Production stage – which opened late in 2020. There are also workshops, green rooms, technical facilities, offices and further shooting spaces.
The sound stages are as follows – Stage 1: 23,350 sq ft; Stage 2: 11,745 sq ft; Stage 3: 5,230 sq ft; Virtual Production Stage: 4,800 sq ft. The stages have a grid height of a useful 10.2 metres.
Garden Studios are located over three campuses in Park Royal. ‘Iris Campus’ contains stages 1, 2 and 3 plus dressing rooms, green rooms etc. ‘Townsend Campus’ contains the Virtual Production Stage and 6,900 sq ft of workshop space. ‘Orchid Campus’ has 16,000 sq ft of workshop space, 10,500 sq ft of offices and two further shooting spaces – one at 9,000 sq ft and the other at 31,000 sq ft.
In September 2021 they announced further expansion. A 95,000 sq ft site called the Lily Campus was about to open. This contains serviced production offices. The Townsend Campus has also had hair, make-up and costume facilities added.
The studios have formed a partnership with MetFilm school – training is an important part of their remit, as is sustainability. Companies already linked with the project include Procam and Take 2 Films. They have said they will be using local suppliers as much as possible – which is relatively easy for them as a number of scenery construction, prop hire and lighting hire companies are located in the area. The studios are aimed at the TV drama market and according to reports, they have been busy since they opened.