Press.
Here’s a small selection of what people have said about us.
  • Liverpool City Council is close to spending £1.8m on the purchase of the 11.5-acre MTL plot next to the former Littlewoods HQ on Edge Lane, completing the site assembly for the Liverpool Film Studios project.

    The council’s cabinet next week will be asked to sign-off the purchase of the land, previously owned by Homes England and once the home of bus and coach group MTL. The project will be delivered by developer Capital & Centric, which has planning permission for the first part of the scheme at Littlewoods and plans to start work in the summer.

    The Film Studios will be made up of office and support space in the 180,000 sq ft art deco Littlewoods building, for which C&C and the council agreed a 250-year lease in April last year. That deal included a six-acre plot fronting the building, which will house the first element of new-build – 40,000 sq ft of studio space and 5,000 sq ft ancillary.

    C&C told Place North West that interest is already so high that the MTL site is required to expand the scheme further, with more studio, workshop and office space, as well as parking.

    The firm’s director John Moffatt said: “The level of interest from potential tenants has been incredible, considering that we’ve not really marketed it yet, and we’re close to making some announcements. The council are really supportive of the project and have been proactive in securing the expansion site for future phases. We hope to be on site in the summer and have studios up and running before the end of 2019.” C&C last year delivered the 20,000 sq ft Bunker workspace project next to Littlewoods.

    Liverpool is the UK’s most filmed city outside of London and the Liverpool Film Office recorded its busiest year in 2017 with 289 film and TV projects shot in the city, with 1,359 filming days providing an economic impact of £11.1m, the council said.

    Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s digital and film industry has reached a tipping point where a major film studio would complete our world class offer and supercharge our plans to create one of Europe’s leading creative centres.

    “We have unbelievably talented writers, actors, directors, technical crews and programmers, our Film Office and locations are second to none, and now with the Liverpool Film Studios we will soon have the very best in green screen filming and editing suites.

    “This is a growing multi-million pound industry with the potential to deliver hundreds of highly skilled jobs and the purchase of the MTL site ensures the future growth of these studios and is a major statement of intent to cement our reputation as the Hollywood of the North.”

    Moffatt concluded: “We’re well on our way to delivering a world-class filming destination for the UK, with one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings at its heart.

    “This is an important milestone in securing the land for our work at Littlewoods, where we’ll mix heritage and new build development to form a creative hub for the North. Demand for the space has blown us away and we can’t wait to announce our first residents in the coming months.”

  • As buzzwords go, ‘liveability’ is having its moment.

    At intellectual level it’s about a city’s culture, vital infrastructure and its people’s values. For me, it’s what makes somewhere an awesome place to live.

    The onus is on property developers not to create soulless apartment blocks designed by spreadsheet - great for function, terrible for soul.

    The key is creating neighbourhoods where every design decision is geared towards the people who’ll make a life there. We’re doing this with KAMPUS, our joint project with Henry Boot Developments.

    The 2.3-acre former Manchester Met University site at the end of Canal Street has it all: 60s brutalist architecture, Grade II listed Victorian warehouses, cobbled streets and canal-side views. That’s before we’ve started building new homes.

    It’ll be green, set around a secret garden. It’ll be buzzing, with bohemian bars and shops. And it’ll be beautiful, with identity and style.

    Communal spaces will be in the highest, most valuable spaces, opposed to in low-value, window-less cells in the basement. This will be a space to be used for things that aren’t supposed to make money, a village hall or a pop up art gallery perhaps?

    Liveability is about mixing basics with brilliance – that’s not always easy to do. The basics are ensuring people have immediate access to transport, feel safe and have amenities. The brilliance is encouraging patrons to be expressive and stamp their own identity on the neighbourhood.

    As we get closer to opening KAMPUS, we’ll be doing more to create this marriage. For now though, we’ve got about a million bricks to lay.

  • Greater Manchester has become the first city region in the UK to bring together the public, private, faith and community sectors to come behind a single, unified plan to tackle rough sleeping. 

    The radical plan, to end rough sleeping by 2020 and set out a 10-year vision to tackle all forms of homelessness, has been developed by the Greater Manchester Homelessness Network. 

    The network was set up by Mayor Andy Burnham and is a partnership of charities, businesses, local authorities, the public sector, people with experience of homelessness, the faith sector and other Greater Manchester organisations.

    In another UK first, a new business network has also been launched, to give the private sector an enhanced role to develop solutions to rough sleeping.

    Andy said: “We can all see that the problem of rough sleeping is getting worse – but here in Greater Manchester our response to this is getting much better.

    “One of my key campaign pledges was to end rough sleeping in Greater Manchester by 2020, and there has been real progress over the past nine months. We’ve secured millions of pounds of investment to help people living on the streets to get a roof over their head; all sectors in Greater Manchester are working together more closely than ever before; and we’ve seen a new approach to emergency support in freezing weather which has seen 1,000 extra beds made available this winter.

    “But we have so much more to do, which makes this plan so important. This is a real problem, and it’s a growing one. But it’s a problem we can solve together if we’re ambitious, driven and innovative.”

    The strategy outlines four “R”s to eradicate rough sleeping:

    Reduction

    To prevent rough sleeping in the future, both identifying solutions for people at risk of rough sleeping for the first time and for existing rough sleepers, to prevent a return to the street.

    Respite

    To provide a safe place for people off the street.

    Recovery

    To manage issues, to stabilise individuals and to work towards independence through support, wellbeing, life skills and steps towards employment, volunteering, training and education.

    Reconnection

    To enable individuals to lead meaningful lives with choice and agency in our community.

    It is underpinned by a 37-point action plan which sets out the major activity which is being carried out across all sectors in Greater Manchester. It also sets a timeframe for the delivery of the work.

    Progress will be monitored by a range of bodies, including academics, charities and policy experts.

    In addition to the plan’s publication, a new business network has also been launched to give the private sector an enhanced role in tackling the issue, as well as making it easier for businesses to get involved. It’s hoped that 200 Greater Manchester businesses will be signed up by 2020. The network will be chaired by Tim Heatley, co-owner of Manchester-based property developer Capital & Centric.

    Andy added: “We all have a part to play – from the individual who donates time or money to local charities, to public bodies who have a responsibility to support the most vulnerable in our society, to the voluntary organisations who provide vital help and support, to businesses who can bring a different perspective to this issue.

    “The private sector’s role is vital, which is why this groundbreaking network is so important. As well as providing the kind of business sense that can lead to innovative solutions, they also have access to resources and places which can help provide respite care and help us accelerate progress. Tim gives us that great perspective and I’m really pleased he is joining us on our journey.”

    Tim Heatley said: “Manchester is a global city with community spirit, we’ve proved that we come together when needed the most.  Yet, despite efforts, so many of Manchester’s vulnerable people are still sleeping on our city’s streets.  While it weighs heavy on our collective conscience that we’ve got to this point, it’s brilliant to see so many organisations – led by the Mayor – pulling together to help.

    “The public sector and charities are leading the charge, but Manchester’s private sector will play a pivotal role too. Our business leaders have had the creativity, determination and ingenuity to put Manchester’s industries on the world stage. Hopefully they can apply these talents to, together, transforming the lives of our people without homes. It’s a big ask, but one I’m sure we’re capable of.”

    Since being elected, the Mayor has secured £9m of funding to tackle rough sleeping. The range of measures that have been introduced includes: 

    £7m to extend the ground-breaking Housing First programme to provide housing for 450 people
    £1.8m Social Impact Bond granted to help entrenched rough sleepers, with 50 currently in the process and another 200 referred for help
    More than £135,000 raised for the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, which has helped fund a wide variety of projects which help homeless people, such as the opening of a new shelter in Cheetham Hill
    More than 500 people registered with their GPs to access vital medical support
    A new cold weather plan which sees emergency support given as soon as temperatures hit freezing in a national first
    1,000 emergency beds available and used as part of the cold weather plan

    However, this work sits against a background of a significant increase in rough sleeping. Figures issued last month saw a national increase in rough sleeping of 15%. In Greater Manchester, this increase was 42%.

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