Liverpool City Council has received planning approval to create the city’s first purpose built 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 famous Littlewoods Building, off Edge Lane.
The approval is a huge boost to Liverpool’s strategy to cement its reputation as one of Europe’s premier film and TV production hubs.
The city council has already appointed contractor Morgan Sindall to construct the facilities, which will be ideally located being just a 10 minute drive from the city centre and the M62.
With planning approval now granted works will begin this month and the sound stages are expected to be 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, which was 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 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.
Liverpool Film Office was recently shortlisted for their first industry award – Best Film Commission Initiative of the year. The nomination is in recognition of the success of the LCR Film & TV Development Fund – launched to support local creative talent in response to the fallout of COVID-19.
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.”
Award-winning writer 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.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “It’s brilliant to see this fantastic project pass its next milestone so that work can progress on these new state of the art film and high-end TV production spaces.
“In an industry of lightning fast innovation and technological improvement, these new facilities are exactly what the city region needs to show the industry that as well as our iconic architectural back drop, we have world class filming and production facilities. It’s a welcome piece of good news in a challenging year.
“The Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural and creative capital, known across the world for its music, its film, TV as well as its sport. I look forward to seeing new productions being filmed here to further boost that reputation.”