Being overseen by Liverpool Film Office, the two 20,000 sq ft studios and sound stages will cement Liverpool’s reputation as a leading destination for TV and movie-makers. Tony McDonough reports
Work on Liverpool’s first-ever Hollywood-style film studios and sound stages has started just weeks after city planners gave the go-ahead.
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. They will form part of the wider £54m and TV complex being created by Capital & Centric.
Building the studios is seen as critical to Liverpool’s strategy to cement its reputation as one of Europe’s premier film and TV production hubs. Thanks to the work of Liverpool Film Office the city attracts hundreds of productions every year.
But the lack of top-notch post-production facilities and sound stages for indoors scenes has meant that, when the cameras stop rolling, the production companies go elsewhere to complete their work.
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 £13.5m.
The city is currently hosting 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.
Cllr 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.”