Planning permission has been secured to develop a creative hub on the former RAF Church Fenton airbase. The site is already home to Yorkshire’s largest film studio.
The project, Create Yorkshire, will build on the success of the Church Fenton Studios with the redevelopment of the major brownfield site to provide enhanced opportunities for film and TV. Permission was secured with help from multidisciplinary consultants Pegasus Group. The plans were created by Makin Enterprises and approved unanimously by Selby District Council.
Makin Enterprises is a family business based at Garforth in Leeds that took on the 450-acre former RAF Church Fenton aerodrome in December 2014.
Chris Makin, of Makin Enterprises, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive the unanimous backing of Selby District Council on the next phase of this exciting project, which is set to change the creative landscape of the region. Create Yorkshire is an opportunity to attract unprecedented investment, growth and innovation and which we look forward to delivering the plans in the very near future.”
Temporary planning permission for commercial film-making and related tourism use was granted in 2015. The site is currently being used for commercial film making and a wide variety of creative businesses have been attracted to the area.
Chris Calvert, Planning Director at Pegasus Group’s Leeds office, said: “Alongside a compelling master planning exercise, making the economic case for the proposed development was one of the key parts of the application and Pegasus Group was able to produce detailed analysis looking at the numerous benefits the scheme will create once it is developed and operational.
“The project will build on the reputation gained by the successful production of ITV’s Victoria at the site and it is hoped that the location could attract educational institutions with the potential for a campus on site.
“The studios will sit alongside a creative industries employment campus and in total the scheme is predicted to bring about around 1,800 new jobs to the region, fitting with the national and regional agenda for growth in this sector.”
Yorkshire and Humber is the UK’s fastest growing region for film and TV, with an industry growth rate more than double the national average. Between 2009 and 2015 it generated an annual turnover of £424m across 590 creative business. According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, the creative industries account for around 104,000 jobs in the region.
Specialist advice was provided by Scott Royal of Royal Pilgrim Communication, supported by WSP, Alan Wood and Partners and Wright Environment.