Gillette Factory Studios

from 2013 (major development proposed)

 

image thanks to The Vinyl Factory

 

The striking Gillette Factory marks the end of the Golden Mile on the Great West Road in Brentford.  It is a landmark building that was designed by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher in 1936-7.  As well as the beautiful frontage to the A4, it extends a considerable distance back to Sky’s huge studio campus as several buildings have been added over the years.  Gillette moved its manufacturing to Poland in 2006 and the factory was left empty.  There was a plan to convert it into a luxury hotel but this came to nothing.

In 2013 the site was purchased by developers and made available for filming.  Four stages totalling around 63,000 sq ft were converted from the existing facilities, although these represent a relatively small proportion of the complex.  The old factory has appealed to a number of film-makers – not just because of the range of interesting locations it offers but because of its proximity to central London, ease of access to Heathrow and the privacy that the site affords.

Films and TV dramas that have used these facilities for part of their schedule include 24: Live Another Day (2013), Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2014), possibly Alien: Covenant (2016), possibly Bohemian Rhapsody (2017), Infinite (2020).

 

image thanks to The Vinyl Factory

In October 2022 some interesting proposals were revealed.  The Vinyl Factory plan to redevelop the site, refurbishing many of the original buildings and constructing several new sound stages.  The plans have been very well developed and represent an excellent use of these old industrial facilities.  The total sound stage area will go from about 63,000 sq ft to around 150,000 sq ft.  There will also be significant workshop space and the usual support facilities including offices.

As of March 2024, it appears that the slow planning process is still underway.  If passed later in the year, we might expect the new stages to be available by late 2026.

 

image thanks to The Vinyl Factory