Liverpool’s £30m movie studio plan starts to become a reality as film industry firms move in
Developer Capital & Centric is set to create the ‘Pinewood of the North’ at the former Littlewoods headquarters off Edge Lane
Movie industry firms have already started moving in to the site of what is set to become the ‘Pinewood of the North’ at the art deco former Littlewoods headquarters in Liverpool.
Developer Capital & Centric (C&C) is to turn the building, in Liverpool Innovation Park just off Edge Lane, into a major £30m film and TV studio complex - with work possibly starting at the end of this year.
The company predicts that the facility could see the £20m annual revenue the city earns from movie makers easy double to £40m within a couple of years and see the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.
Manchester-based C&C says a firm that produces graphics for film, TV and architecture projects and a film rendering company with clients across the world, had already moved into the adjacent 20,000 sq ft Bunker Building.
C&C director, Tim Heatley, this week delivered a presentation on the project at the Liverpool stand at the MIPIM property and investment expo in Cannes . The firm is a member of the 36-strong Liverpool delegation to the event.
Liverpool has become a favoured location for film and TV drama show makers in recent years some major features have been filmed here, including Sherlock Holmes, Captain America, Jack Ryan, Fast and Furious 6, Nowhere Boy and the TV dramas Peeky Blinders and Foyle’s War.
Last summer, Hollywood stars Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant filmed Florence Foster Jenkins in Liverpool city centre.
However, once the cameras stop rolling all post-production for the films is done elsewhere. The Innovation Park facility could mean much of that work could be done here.
Mr Heatley wants the site to become a “cluster” of movie and digital industry firms. He told the ECHO: “It is necessary to attract additional productions to the city and to retain those we already have here.
“It is also to ensure that once they have chosen the city as a location then they produce and post-produce their content here too.
“That will help reverse the cycle of the talent drain to the south and it will also help to encourage and engender new talent who will see that there are real opportunities here for them in the city.
“The spectrum of knowledge and skills in this sector is vast - joiners and electricians through to make-up artists, set designers and through to sound production.”
The first phase of the project will also see the Liverpool Theatre School, currently based in Aigburth, relocate to the site. C&C already has planning approval from the city council.
Mr Heatley said a major plus was that the site was previously home to electronics giant Marconi and so already benefits from the super-fast broadband needed by the digital sector.
The company has already delivered a number of successful schemes in Merseyside and is currently putting together the funding for this project.
Mr Heatley added: “For us it is really important for us not to just rent the space out but creating connections with like-minded and similar businesses. We create connections and that is how we find the value.”