Green light for Liverpool film studios
Liverpool City Council has received planning approval to create the city’s first purpose-built, ‘pop-up’ film and high-end TV stages.
The green light was given this morning at the city’s planning committee to build two 20,000 sq ft sound studios on land adjacent to the iconic Littlewoods Building, off Edge Lane.
The city council has appointed contractor Morgan Sindall to construct the facilities, works on which will begin this month with a view to the stages being operational by spring 2021.
In July this year, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved £17m to support the new film and TV stages, along with the Littlewoods Film and TV studios.
Liverpool City Council’s Film Office is overseeing the scheme and is in talks with major global production companies over the use of the stages from next year.
Liverpool is a major UK production hub, able to support large-scale projects, with grand civic architecture that easily doubles for other world locales.
The city is currently home to Netflix’s Munich 38 and the second series of Sky’s COBRA; it recently hosted The Batman, Netflix’s The Irregulars and The English Game, ITV’s Viewpoint and Sky’s Tin Star: Liverpool.
Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, said: “I’m delighted we’ve got the green light to create these new sound stages and I can’t wait to see them welcoming their first productions.
“Being adjacent to the future Littlewoods Film Studios, the new sound studios will transform Liverpool’s ability to provide the TV and Film industry with a complete support package.
“Such is the interest in the city and in these new facilities we’re already getting calls about bookings before we’ve even built them!
“These sound studios also means the city will have all the right ingredients to be a ‘Hollywood of the North’ for training, production content and talent in Liverpool – which will lead to more investment and more jobs.”
Jimmy McGovern, whose latest project Time – a BBC TV drama - is being filmed in Liverpool, said: “I love the fact that Liverpool council is looking to build these new TV and film studios. Everyone knows how great the city is in hosting productions, but we can’t always complete a shoot here due to a limited studio capacity.
“These new studios will be a huge shot in the arm for the sector and especially for the hugely talented army of people who make the magic happen off screen, as they will save a lot of time wasted having to travel to other studios elsewhere.
“It’s also great news for young kids in our city and region wanting to get into the industry and in particular it’ll be a brilliant boost for the Kensington community which desperately needs this type of investment and the fantastic job opportunities it presents.
Also on The Knowledge
The National Film and Television School (NFTS) is running a two-week online course on the art of adaptation, with the chance to pitch your idea to a head of development at All3Media.
Amazon’s first scripted series to shoot exclusively in Scotland, The Rig, begins filming today, 29th March, on an oil rig and at First Stage Studios in Edinburgh.
Filming begins in London today (29 March) on a second series of Jerk starring Tim Renkow.
Stanley Tucci, David Tennant, Dolly Wells and Lydia West head the cast of BBC One and Netflix drama Inside Man, from Hartswood Films.
A tranche of new measures and schemes backed by several top industry bodies has been launched to reinvigorate action against bullying, harassment and racism.
Isle of Wight cultural investment company, Venture South, has launched Filmwight, the island’s first official film office.