Thursday, 24 June 2010

Update: change for housing imminent : BRAY STUDIOS in DANGER

Things are not looking good for Bray at all.

The planning permission was granted last month for the much-needed repairs to the roof of Bray Studios' central building, the listed Down Place.

The Maidenhead Advertiser posted a report on 3rd June which gave a brief overview of the studios history and pointed to further support within the industry to keep the studios operating on some level. See here.

Then last week the same publication reported that an application was imminent to the Council for a change of use to housing - which would have gone before the Council this week. I'm now trying to ascertain what has happened myself. Report is here. But doesn't bode well.

I should point out that I was approached by an independent film production company a matter of weeks ago who expressed an interest in renting out the studios for long term or indeed in buying them out to continue use as a film studio. Bray Management Ltd. advised them that the studios were not currently for hire, and would not consider selling. The whole thing reeks of a done deal - the management company wants to make their money from conversion to housing, and is not interested in preserving the industry which has operated there for 60 years.

Whether anything can be done to halt or delay this process remains to be seen. The sad thing is, we had someone willing to look into buying the studio prevented from doing so. It appears that Bray Studios has been deliberately run into the ground to facilitate this transition. People still want to use the facilities, it still has a use, and should be allowed to continue.


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