"End of an era" for vibrant Media Village as Wimbledon Studios is sold

Evicted: Wimbledon Media Village community will be broken up next month.

Evicted: Wimbledon Media Village community will be broken up next month.

First published in News Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A "mini-Soho" of tech businesses torn apart by the sale of Wimbledon Studios has said it will be "an end of an era" when they are evicted next month.

Up to 50 businesses based in the Media Village in Deer Park Road have until September 24 to find new offices after the Studios were sold to Marjan Television Network.

Peter Rolls, owner of audio post production company, Wimbledon Sound, said: "One thing common to all Media Village companies is we love what we do. It's not just a job for most of us, it's our passion.

"It has been amazing to wake up every morning and come to work with our friends, doing something we enjoy.

"We will survive this closure, life goes on, but it is definitely the end of an era."

Mr Rolls, who moved into his office three years ago, described the site as a "mini-Soho" where digital businesses connected and collaborated on high-profile projects, such as the 370Z NISMO Nissan 'Wingsuit' advert which went viral last October.

The award-winning advert was produced by Media Village business Want Some Media with some of the Top Gear team, edited by Firebelly Films, also based in Deer Park Road, with sound design by Mr Rolls and VFX and motion graphics by Wimbledon-based Jason Harding.

Music for the advert was created by Mark Hill, whose office is next to Wimbledon Sound and colour grading was done by Mazin Power, another Media Village entrepreneur.

Mr Rolls said: "This would not have been possible if not for the Media Village community - the job would have gone to a much larger, more expensive production company."

Leigh Brooks, director of Firebelly Films, spent £24,000 upgrading his studio in January with partitions, sound-proof ceiling and walls and new flooring.

Mr Brooks, of Carshalton, said: "I'm not sure what I'm going to do at the moment but I'm definitely leaving the area. It's a shame because I've got a busy thing going here."

He said he is considering relocating to Soho, or a business site in Twickenham.

Co-ordinated by Wimbletech founder David Fletcher, Merton Council and Merton Chamber of Commerce have been trying to find an alternative site for the community in the borough.

David Fletcher, who founded a start-up community in Wimbledon library in February, said: "I got connected to a couple of guys there and heard about the Studios going into administration.

"I thought, that's nuts because we are potentially as a borough going to lose 40 companies so I have been trying to get the guys together to find a space because when you get guys like that together there's an amazing hub."

He said the council has shown them a few potential sites but nothing suitable has yet been found.

Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, said: "I know there are discussions about an alternative property for the businesses in Wimbledon.

"It's very regrettable that the owners are forcing them out and what we would like is for these businesses to remain together as a hub."

Comments (2)

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10:24am Tue 19 Aug 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

Some shabby dealings have taken place, & these unfortunate people are losing out, as are the other local businesses in the area. So where is the usually photogenic council leader? Oh yes, of course, he only likes to be pictured with winners. Bad for his image to be seen here. Sham on him.
Some shabby dealings have taken place, & these unfortunate people are losing out, as are the other local businesses in the area. So where is the usually photogenic council leader? Oh yes, of course, he only likes to be pictured with winners. Bad for his image to be seen here. Sham on him. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 4

3:25pm Tue 19 Aug 14

fedup666 says...

Hove Ex-Pat wrote:
Some shabby dealings have taken place, & these unfortunate people are losing out, as are the other local businesses in the area. So where is the usually photogenic council leader? Oh yes, of course, he only likes to be pictured with winners. Bad for his image to be seen here. Sham on him.
The council leader (ex-PR) is not bothered because union members
are not losing their jobs. Where is the CEO of Merton? He's too busy
counting his money and taking a day off to recover.

Merton has a poor reputation for businesses and other forward looking
councils will take advantage.
[quote][p][bold]Hove Ex-Pat[/bold] wrote: Some shabby dealings have taken place, & these unfortunate people are losing out, as are the other local businesses in the area. So where is the usually photogenic council leader? Oh yes, of course, he only likes to be pictured with winners. Bad for his image to be seen here. Sham on him.[/p][/quote]The council leader (ex-PR) is not bothered because union members are not losing their jobs. Where is the CEO of Merton? He's too busy counting his money and taking a day off to recover. Merton has a poor reputation for businesses and other forward looking councils will take advantage. fedup666
  • Score: 3

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