Film Studio plans for
LIVERPOOL is setting the stage to be
the most filmed City in the UK as proposals to create a new film and TV studio
in and around the iconic Littlewoods Building are to be considered on Friday, 18 September
A report going to Cabinet will set out plans to build the Littlewoods Studios
Liverpool; a 4.5 hectare hub consisting of film and television studios, and a
new home for Liverpool Theatre School which is currently based in Aigburth. It
will also provide new space for the City's booming creative community; thanks
to the success of the Baltic triangle, the need for space for the sector is
overwhelming; and opportunities for an on site educational offer will also be
Located at both the Littlewoods Building and on the neighbouring site of
Liverpool Innovation Park on Edge Lane, the new campus will create up to an
estimated 900 full time jobs when at capaCity.
The studios will mean that Liverpool can meet the demand for film and production
facilities, after a report by the Film Office revealed that in 2014 to 2015, the
City missed out on a potential £20 million filming revenue due to capaCity
issues in the City. Following the recent announcement about tax breaks for the
British film industry, it is predicted that more blockbuster productions will be
looking to film in the UK, and if Liverpool can't offer the required facilities,
the City will once again miss out on millions of pounds.
With access to new 20,000 to 30,000sqft sound stages and in a building with a greater
height (up to 50 foot), it is predicted that Liverpool will become an even more
attractive proposition for production companies making TV programmes, films,
adverts, music videos and corporate videos.
The Littlewoods Building and adjacent land is currently owned by the Homes and
Communities Agency, who will be disposing of their interest to the City council.
All parties have been working together to facilitate this delivery and an
agreement is in place to transfer the land and property interests to the
preferred scheme developer Capital and Centric Ltd at no cost to the City
If the report is approved, work on the £25million project will start
immediately, with major onsite works starting as soon as January 2016.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "This project has been a long
time in the planning. Various sites were reviewed, but the recognisable
Littlewoods building offers the scale required and is in a great location to
attract productions to the City.
Capital and Centric are a perfect choice as developer and their experience shows
they understand and work well with the creative sector.
With this development we can support the film sector, attract inward investment,
give a boost to the local economy, create jobs, improve skills and generally
enhance the image of the City.
This also comes in the same week as we've announced Liverpool as the new home
for the British Music Experience, so it all demonstrates our commitment to
escalate the growth of the creative industries in this City."
The former Littlewoods Pools Building has been vacant since 2003. Recently on
the site, Capital and Centric completed a £4m conversion of the Bunker Building,
creating 20,000sqft of speculative office space, attracting digital and creative
companies. They will continue to work onsite and take direct ownership of the
site with a 250 year lease, delivering the 1st 2, of 3, phases of the project.
Capital and Centric will look to create around 1,500 jobs throughout the
development phases, through the conversion of the existing buildings plus
further bespoke buildings for the Film and TV sector. The project will deliver
super energy efficient buildings with a focus on unique design.
Michelle Rothwell from Capital and Centric said:- "The Littlewoods Buildings
is part of the history of Liverpool, with more than 2,000 people working there
at one time. We're really looking forward to bringing back to life what is an
incredible and fascinating part of Liverpool's heritage. We love
converting buildings, they're perfect for creating an inspiring destination,
with co-working space, cool cafes and restaurants, and an environment to help
Carl Moore, HCA Head of Area for the Liverpool City Region, said:- "Using
our land to help meet housing and growth priorities in Liverpool is central to
our business and our local approach. We have been working with Liverpool City
Council towards bringing this iconic building back into use and towards
realising the film and media hub, which is a Mayoral Priority"
Claire Poyser, Joint Managing Director of Lime Pictures, said:- "I am
delighted and excited that Liverpool will have its own production facility. It
will not only provide the impetus for growth for established production
companies operating within the region but attract new business to a City that
offers a greater range of backdrops than anywhere else in the UK."
Maxine Ellis, Principal and Director of Liverpool Theatre School, said:-
"Liverpool Theatre School is delighted to be part of this exciting new venture.
We have been involved in training talented young people to enter the theatre
industry at the highest level for over 70 years. The state of the art
facilities which will include a 140 seat theatre and purpose built studios will
enable us to continue to provide further training at a world class level."
Filming in Liverpool in 2015 is so far up 20% in the 1st 7 months compared to
2014, with more than 130 productions being filmed in the region. Projects have
included feature film:- 'Florence Foster Jenkins' starring Meryl Streep and Hugh
Grant, Stephen Poliakoff drama:- 'Close to the Enemy', ITV supernatural crime drama
Houdini and Doyle and Sky's flagship 2016 drama:- 'The Five'.