Film Studio Plans Approved
Detailed planning consent has been granted to Coolmore Estates to build a Centre of Creative Excellence comprising film studios and ancillary facilities, education, student accommodation, hotel and leisure uses and public buildings on land south of the A182 Dawdon link road, Seaham.
This truly exceptional scheme would be nothing short of world class, costing in the region of £200m, it will provide a specialist centre of higher education and places for up to 2000 students in a purpose built campus linked to the film studios. It also involves building two much needed hotels one of which is expected to have leisure facilities which can be used by the public.
The new scheme will act as a beacon for economic, educational and cultural opportunities. The sheer scale of the development means that the economic benefits will be immense not just to Seaham and adjoining settlements, but of equal significance to the whole region.
Planning conditions for the Media Centre of Excellence require the studio and education facilities to be developed first prior to any housing, hotel or leisure facilities. The film studios project was affected by the financial crisis which delayed the commitment of a major film production company. The film studios project will move forward once County Durham has demonstrated it is a suitable location for film production. It is anticipated that a number of films planned in the near future will demonstrate this and bring a definite commitment by a major film production company.
This project is to be identified as a key strategic site within the County Durham Plan and the site is to be protected for this specific use.