Despite the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool Film Office says 212 film and TV productions came to Liverpool in 2020. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool remained a major draw for film and TV companies with the city being used as a backdrop for 212 productions generating £13.5m and supporting 490 jobs.
Latest figures from Liverpool Film Office show that despite the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still 670 filming days in the city during the year. Due to the epidemic the number of productions fell 35% and filming days by 62%.
High-profile productions that came to the city this year included The Batman (Warner Bros), The Irregulars (Netflix), Time (BBC), So Awkward (CBBC), Munich 38 (Netflix) and Moving On series 12 (BBC).
And the productions are also being hailed as providing an essential lifeline to Liverpool’s hospitality industry with more than £2.1m invested in the sector as a result of productions booking around 25,000 room nights.
Despite the obstacles COVID-19 posed, the Liverpool City Region Production Fund – the first local authority-supported fund of its kind in the UK for more than six years – continues to attract more productions to the region, create jobs and boost the local economy.
The latest projects to receive funding include BBC One Jimmy McGovern drama Time which stars Stephen Graham and Sean Bean and Channel 4’s Help which again stars Stephen Graham alongside Jodie Comer. More funding announcements will be made in the new year.
The Film Office also established the Film & TV Development Fund in response to Covid-19 which saw the creation of a £250,000 fund to support regional producers, writers and other creative talent.
Manager of Liverpool Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said: “This time last year we were gearing up for 2020 to be a record-breaking year in terms of the number of productions heading to the city region – it may not have gone to plan but it has still been a busy year for very different reasons.
“During the first lockdown we worked hard to put plans in place which would enable filming to return in a COVID-safe manner. One of the first major projects to make those plans a reality was the biggest movie being filmed in the world at that time – The Batman – so we don’t do things be halves in the film office.
“Seeing filming back in the city region feels right. We lost nearly six months when it should have been our busiest time of year, but as the report shows, our production figures remain strong which I’m incredibly proud of.”