Project

Create Yorkshire

Location

Yorkshire

Client

Makin Enterprises

Services Used

Pegasus Group has secured planning permission for an ambitious project that will deliver economic diversity and new jobs to a former RAF base near York. Selby District Council unanimously approved plans for Makin Enterprises to develop a creative hub on land at the former RAF Church Fenton airbase, already home to Yorkshire’s largest film studio and where parts of the hit TV drama Victoria are filmed.

Makin Enterprises instructed Pegasus Group to design a major creative, digital and media hub (‘Create Yorkshire’), and a film and TV studio complex at Church Fenton Aerodrome that will gain collective benefits from being within a cluster of complementary uses, including close proximity to the existing film studios. We worked closely with the client to provide a range of services including planning, consultation, LVIA, heritage, landscape design, economics, architecture and urban design services including architecture.

Create Yorkshire builds on the success of the Church Fenton Studios with the redevelopment of the major brownfield site within the Leeds City Region in order to provide enhanced opportunities for film and TV. The opportunity at Church Fenton is one that allows the film studio to flourish, whilst being supported by a permanent economic presence for those within the creative, digital and media related sectors.

There is already existing temporary planning permission for TV and Film production, however the vision is to make permanent use of the aircraft hangars for TV and film production, introducing additional stages, backlots and structures to create a larger hub of production space that can be purpose built to fit needs. The existing aircraft hangars offer vast indoor space for studio sets and smaller scale buildings perfect for production design offices, workshops and stores.

Design
The masterplan proposals were developed through a collaborative urban design and landscape led design process, by identifying design cues within the existing airfield fabric and also historic site features and through consultation with experts in other fields including drainage, landscape, heritage and transport alongside engagement with the Council and local community. Our architectural design services ensured that the proposals met requirements of the intended end users, taking into account the often bespoke requirements for this economic sector.

The proposals evolved through close collaboration with other disciplines. The end result was a landscape led masterplan which protected and enhanced existing heritage features and created strong linear green corridors which frame important views towards existing site features, and created public areas which integrate creative, digital and media uses with the film studios.

Economics
As part of the planning application, Pegasus Group assessed the economic contribution the proposed scheme will make to Selby, the wider region and UK. The analysis comprised of three components:

Economic impact of the scheme
Focussing on how many jobs will be supported once the site is operational, along with the contribution it will make to economic output. The analysis estimated that around 1,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs will be supported on-site, which rises to 2,600 FTEs in the UK economy when wider supply chain impacts are considered. Over a ten-year period, the additional gross value added (a proxy for economic output) for the UK economy associated with the proposed scheme is estimated to be £0.94billion.

Contribution to economic development objectives
The scheme will make an important contribution to economic development objectives across several geographical scales. For example, in its 2017 Economic Development Framework, Selby District Council specifically identify Church Fenton Airfield as a key development site due to its potential to provide a major creative and media hub in the region. At a sub-regional level, the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership has formed a ‘digital agenda’ around the central principle of ‘good growth’ believing that opportunities can be exploited through a strategic focus on digital, technology and knowledge, as well as innovation, creativity and open mind sets.

Supporting growth of the creative and digital sector
The creative and digital sector has performed strongly in recent years and the proposed scheme provides Selby and the wider region with a chance to capitalise on further growth in the future. The sector generates more than £50billion in exports and has seen faster export growth over the last four years when compared with UK exports as a whole. The development will not only help to promote Yorkshire & The Humber across the UK, but on a global scale too.

Specialist advice was provided by Scott Royal of Royal Pilgrim Communications, supported by WSP, Alan Wood and Partners and Wright Environment.

For more information about Pegasus Group and its services, please contact us.

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