Work has begun on Liverpool’s first purpose built film and high-end TV stages.
Contractors for Liverpool City Council have broken ground on land adjacent to the famous Littlewoods Building, off Edge Lane, to create two 20,000 sq ft sound studios.
The studios, which received planning permission earlier this month, are seen as critical to Liverpool’s strategy to cement its reputation as one of Europe’s premier film and TV production hubs.
The city council has appointed contractor Morgan Sindall Construction to build the facilities, which are ideally located being just a 10 minute drive from the city centre and the M62.
It is expected that the sound stages, which have received funding from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will be operational by Spring 2021.
Liverpool City Council’s Film Office, the first of its kind in Europe, is overseeing the scheme and is already in talks with major global production companies over the use of the stages from next year.
Liverpool is already one of the major film destinations in the UK and despite the Covid-19 pandemic the city hosted 212 productions in 2020, which consisted of 670 filming days boosting the local economy by nearly £13.5 million.
The city is currently hosting illustrious productions such as Netflix’s Munich 38 and Sky’s COBRA, as well as recently welcoming blockbusters such as Warner Bros’ The Batman, and high-end TV drama such as Netflix’s The Irregulars and The English Game, ITV’s Viewpoint and Sky’s Tin Star: Liverpool.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Acting Mayor of Liverpool, said: “Liverpool’s film and TV sector has flourished in the past decade and these purpose built sound stages symbolise how far the city has come as one of Europe’s leading go-to locations.
“Being adjacent to the future Littlewoods Film Studios, these high-end facilities means the city will be able to provide the industry with a complete support package and I can’t wait to see them welcoming their first productions.
“There’s already a huge amount of interest to book these studios, which underlines their value, but they will also prove to be a fabulous asset for training and nurturing talent in Liverpool.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “It’s exciting to see these brilliant film and high-end TV production facilities in person.
“These studios give to the film and TV industry yet another reason to work with us here in the Liverpool City Region. I know that we have the talent and people here to complement the facilities and really make the best of this fantastic opportunity and see new productions made here for years to come.”
Richard Potts, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “These new film studios will form a vital part of driving forward the Liverpool City Region’s economy for many years to come, and it’s a privilege to be part of such an important part of the city’s future.
“Liverpool’s creative industries are a source of great pride to everyone in the city, and as part of our delivery of the project we intend to work with our regional supply chain and develop training and skills programmes to ensure as many local people as possible can benefit from the creation of these brilliant new sound stages.”