Garden Studios, Park Royal

from 2021

‘Iris 2 and 3’ at The Garden Studios

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.

Garden Studios occupy some industrial units in Waxlow Road, Park Royal.  They contain 4 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.  A second VP stage opened in March 2023.  For the new stage, Anna Valley built a 26 x 4.5m ROE BPV2 semicircular volume in a 7,750 sq ft sound stage.  The volume comes with an 8m x 5m OD4 ED ceiling, mounted on a motorised hoist so it can be lowered, raised and tilted up to a 45-degree angle.


The sound stages are as follows – Stage 1: 23,350 sq ft; Stage 2: 11,733 sq ft; Stage 3: 5,230 sq ft; first Virtual Production stage: 4,800 sq ft. Lily Campus VP stage: 7,750 sq ft.  The stages have a grid height of a useful 10.2 metres.


garden virtual stage 450p
The first Virtual Production Stage – surrounded by high-res LED screens enabling scenes to be shot on computer-generated sets.  The advantage of this technique over green screen is that the light generated by the screens reflects off the actors in a realistic fashion, enhancing the believability of the final image.
the site plan for the Garden Studios

Garden Studios are located over several campuses in Park Royal.  Iris Campus contains stages 1, 2 and 3 plus dressing rooms, green rooms etc.  Nearby is the Townsend Campus containing the first 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 a 95,000 sq ft site called the Lily Campus opened.  This contains serviced production offices.  A newly fitted 7,750 sound stage opened here in October ’22.  This was fitted out as a VP stage in association with Anna Valley in 2023.  Magnolia Campus offers offices upstairs and flexible production spaces on the ground floor.  This includes three high spec studios formerly used for remastering and suitable for sound dubbing, mixing or ADR.


The second VP stage that opened in March 2023.


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.

In 2023, Garden Studios achieved ‘B Corp status’.  This certification managed by B Lab, a non-profit organisation that serves the global community of people using businesses as a force for good, apparently commits the company to ‘high standards of social and environmental impact, transparency, accountability, and the transformation of the global economic system.’  So that’s all right then.

Production credits include Toast of Tinseltown, ITV’s The Morning Show, The Narrows.


Big Brother

The 2023 series of Big Brother was  based at these studios.  The first episode was broadcast simultaneously on ITV1 and ITV2 on 8th October with the rest of the 6-week series continuing on ITV2.  A second series has also been commissioned.