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PGGB Royal Patron His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh Visits Barking & Dagenham’s The Wharf Studios

Fri 8th Dec 2023

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’s The Wharf Studios today in his role as Royal Patron of The Production Guild of Great Britain.

First introduced to the work of Barking & Dagenham’s film office at the PGGB Talent Showcase in January 2023, The Duke of Edinburgh met Head of Film Barking & Dagenham, Lisa Dee who believed in the vision of creating a new film and TV sector in the borough, which was formally known for manufacturing cars. It was here that HRH heard about the ongoing endeavours to attract and nurture a new generation of filmmaking talent from a London borough that is home to under-represented communities in the UK’s film and television industry.

Over the last 10 years, the borough has curated its successful film service, ‘Film Barking & Dagenham’ which has provided a one-stop shop for an impressive line-up of high-end productions for the likes of Amazon, Apple +, Disney, Netflix, Sky, 

Warner Bros and many more, who have chosen local locations to play host to dozens of global shows. Some of the notable productions that have shot across Barking & Dagenham have included Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange and Black Widow, The Batman for Warner Bros., and Amazon Prime’s Heads of State starring Idris Elba who is from east London.   

HRH also had the opportunity to meet local ‘Make It Here’ students learning the lighting and electrical craft, as well as runners and marshals who have worked on high end TV productions and secondary school pupils, plus local training academies who have engaged with Film Barking & Dagenham’s immersive industry-led career days. HRH was also afforded a glimpse into the future of the borough with an update on progress of the Eastbrook Studios development, which will be London’s largest film studio providing 12 new sound stages from spring 2024 in addition to the six sound stages currently on The Wharf Studios’ 10-acre campus. 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit to The Wharf Studios. He commented, “Film, as with all of the creative industries, is about imagination, and making it happen.  It takes a lot of different people to be able to do that, and that’s what the Guild is trying to encourage – more people who understand that there is a place in this industry for you.”

His late father Prince Philip, the former Duke of Edinburgh, also visited the borough on 11th December 1962 and unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.

Commenting on the Royal visit, PGGB’s CEO, Lyndsay Duthie said, “We would like to thank The Duke of Edinburgh for his ongoing support of The Production Guild of Great Britain and the work of our members and partners. We are delighted to be able to highlight this important initiative in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham. To sustain a healthy and thriving film and television industry in the UK, we need to provide a skilled workforce for the future. The foundation for that future comes alive in places like Barking & Dagenham. PGGB celebrates the work that has been done so far and we are proud to support ongoing initiatives.”

Historically, generations of people in this area of East London and Essex would go to work at Ford Dagenham, now, thanks to regeneration, investment and a commitment to skills and training, The Wharf Studios and the upcoming Eastbrook Studios, developed and operated by The MBS Group and Hackman Capital Partners – are offering long-term career paths in film and television.