Liverpool to get a designated film studio
An iconic Art Deco building in the city of Liverpool is set to become a designated film studio, with work on the £25m scheme due to start "immediately".
The site, on Edge Lane, was previously home to Littlewoods Pools, and in a nod to its heritage, the facility would be named the Littlewoods Studios Liverpool, with the potential to create around 900 full time jobs.
The city council cabinet has been asked to approve the plans for both the building and the neighbouring Liverpool Innovation Park, also on Edge Lane.
The proposed development comes at a time when Liverpool has become known as a thriving a production hub, with projects such as Sherlock Holmes, Captain America, Jack Ryan, Fast and Furious 6, Nowhere Boy and TV dramas Peaky Blinders and Foyle's War all having filmed in the city.
There have been concerns that the city did not have enough space to meet the demand for film and TV production facilities: the Film Office stated in a recent report that in 2014-2015 the city missed out on a potential £20m due to lack of capacity.
With high profile projects such as Reg (Jimmy McGovern's latest drama, starting production this weekend); major international drama Houdini & Doyle and the Meryl Streep/Hugh Grant starrer Florence Foster Jenkins all jostling for space in the city, the news could not come at a better time.
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.
"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."
Preliminary work could start straight away if the proposals are greenlit, with serious conversion/construction work beginning as early as January, with around 1,500 jobs possibly up for grabs during the build and extension of the building, empty since 2003.
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