Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • 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.”

  • Capital & Centric has launched housebuilding arm Nowhaus, and is seeking to acquire and develop sites in partnership with Greater Manchester and Merseyside local authorities to bring forward several hundred homes each year.

    The Nowhaus concept has been designed by architect shedkm, and aims to create affordable housing which maximises the living space within the property as well as allowing for high-density development.

    [Nowhaus plan] The mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom houses would be built back-to-back in terraces for space efficiency, with low-maintenance roof gardens and car parking spaces.

    Capital & Centric is aiming to build twice as many homes on a site than the traditional housebuilders, and is targeting plots of three acres or more which could deliver around 100 homes per project.

    The company, which was co-founded by Tim Heatley and Adam Higgins in 2011, used the MIPIM UK conference in London last week to present the concept to Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

    According to Heatley, Nowhaus is based on economies of scale, which allow for cost savings to be passed on to the end user. “We want to build communities up,” he said. “We’re aiming for pioneering sites where there have been challenges around development, and that are big enough to change how people look at the entire area. The bigger the site the better.”

  • A Grade II-listed mill complex behind Piccadilly Station that has housed more than 100 artists studios for 15 years is set to be overhauled following its sale to a Manchester developer.

    The Crusader Works, currently home to Rogue Studios, has been bought from a private family by Capital & Centric for an ‘undisclosed sum’ and will cost around £25m to restore and renovate.

    Director Tim Heatley confirmed Capital & Centric have no firm plans for the site as yet, having acquired it in just four weeks, but says Rogue Studios and the other private businesses currently occupying the mills will be moving out.

    Capital & Centric, which is based in Sun House on Little Peter Street, are also the developers behind the £175m Kampus project on Aytoun Street in the city centre, and the ongoing Foundry business park project in Ordsall , Salford.

    They spotted the 200,000 sq ft site several months ago - which includes buildings on Fair Street, Chapeltown Street, Congou Street and Baird Street - while looking to the possibility of putting in a bid on the London Road Fire Station site.

    A Rogue spokesman initially expressed the group’s “shock” at the sale, but Mr Heatley says Capital & Centric have now entered into sincere dialogue with the artists to help them relocate to a new, permanent home.

    Mr Heatley exclusively told the M.E.N.: “Rogue has been there for 10 years or more, and has become a very important and viable community. They were nervous the developers would just decimate all that.

    “But they’ve had a look at the work we do, and work we have done with other artists, and as a result I think they’re a bit more relaxed.

    “We’re looking as a team at where we can help Rogue move to so we can make sure they have a sustainable home. This is an opportunity for us and for Rogue to protect that important legacy.

    “Before it was a studios, the mill was a garment works, and before that it was where they made machinery for the cotton industry. It’s just an evolution, and we’re a part of that evolution, and now the custodian of the building for the next few years.”

    Mr Heatley said that preserving the studios would protect the “eco-system” of the city, because art and culture are what attracts people to want to live and work in Manchester.

    Rogue Studios currently occupies about 30,000 square feet of the mill across three floors. Large parts of complex, which was built in 1830 by Joseph Chessborough Dyer (co-founder of the Manchester Guardian and the Bank of Manchester), are currently out of use or derelict. It has been in private hands since the 1970s.

    Mr Heatley added: “The building is falling down, and for me as a Manchester lad that’s heartbreaking to see.

    “We want to preserve as much of the character of these buildings and this city as possible, so it’s a privilege to be able to do that with the Crusader Works.”

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