Public offered say on £70m movie studios project

Developer Capital & Centric launches public consultation on £70m plans to convert the former Littlewoods building in Liverpool into TV and film studios. Tony McDonough reports

Capital & Centric
CGI of how the Littlewoods TV and film complex will look


People in Liverpool are being asked for their views on plans for a £70m TV and film studio complex at the former Littlewoods headquarters in Edge Lane in Liverpool.

In plans backed by both Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Manchester developer Capital & Centric is set to convert the site into a premier TV and film production hub.

Thanks to the work of the Liverpool Film Office over a number of years, Liverpool is already the second most filmed city in the UK. Major blockbusters such as Warner Bros’ The Batman and Netflix’s Munich: The Edge of War were filmed in the city.

However, the drawback for the city has always been the lack of a studio, sound stage and good post-production facilities. This means as soon as the cameras stop rolling, the bandwagon rolls out of town. This project seeks to address that.

Liverpool City Council has already invested £3m to create two pop-up studios on the site called The Depot. 

Under the wider plans, which have already been delayed for several years, Capital & Centric plan to create new studio spaces; workspaces and workshops for the industry. This is alongside a screening and performance zone that would be open to the public.

In October last year the scheme suffered a further setback when Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) pulled out of a deal to take 75,000 sq ft of space.

LJMU signed up to be one of two anchor tenants in 2020. Twickenham Film Studios, to be operated by TIME+SPACE Studios, has taken 85,000 sq ft of studio and ancillary.

Now the Capital & Centric is launching a public consultation on the scheme that will remain open until Monday, July 17. You can click on to offer your comments online.

People are also invited to a consultation drop-in event on Thursday, June 29, 3pm to 8pm, at the Bunker, Innovation Boulevard, Liverpool L7 9PW. Visitors can meet the team and have their say on what’s planned.

The team will also be at the Bombed Out Church Makers Market in the city centre this Sunday, June 18 to speak with visitors about the plans, with limited edition art prints of the Littlewoods building on sale for charity.

The existing Littelwoods building features three distinct sections – the east and west wings, which are separated by the Hangar, a 1960s add-on. The plans include:

  • For the existing buildings to feature spaces such as offices, options for hotel rooms/accommodation for crew, an education facility, roof terrace with city views, as well as workshops and studio support facilities.
  • Two new build 20,000 sq.ft studios on the site, adjacent to the existing buildings, providing space for big budget productions to film.
  • A screening and performance zone set within the existing hangar and open to the public. It will feature four cinema screens, a performance space and a food hall.

Capital & Centric is also proposing a green courtyard for the community, with a link through to the neighbouring Botanic Gardens.


Capital & Centric
CGI of how the interior of the Littlewoods TV and film complex will look


John Moffat, joint managing director at Capital & Centric, said: “We’re now working up the plans in detail and the consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on what we’ve got in store.

“As well as the Hollywood-standard studio building, workshops and offices, we want to make sure The Littlewoods Project embraces the surrounding community.

READ MORE: Liverpool Film Office invests in McGovern BBC drama

“That’s why we’re planning to incorporate loads of creative spaces, such as an educational facility; a screening space and food hall that’ll be open to the public; and lush, landscaped areas where people can unwind.”

On Saturday, July 15, Capital & Centric will also host the Littlewoods Film & Food Fest. It will offer film screenings, local food stalls, drinks, mini golf, face-painting and a DJ.

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