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Liverpool unveils stages to Hollywood of the North

Words: Huw Morris

Liverpool City Council has unveiled plans to develop film and TV stages in a bid to cement the city’s position as a major broadcast hub and create a ‘Hollywood of the North’.

The move follows the approval by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in July of £17 million to support the new film and TV stages along with the Littlewoods Film TV studios (pictured), which has signed up Twickenham Studios as its anchor tenant.

Liverpool City Council’s film office, which has recently launched a fund to attract productions to the city, is overseeing the scheme and is holding talks with international production companies about using the stages next year.

The planning application is subject to a public consultation, but if it is approved the council expects to start on site in November and the sound stages to be operational by spring 2021.

“Liverpool’s reputation in the TV and film industry is second to none,” said the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson. “The city’s ability to double up as New York, Chicago or Moscow means we regularly see it on the silver and small screen.

“Being a world-class location has opened many doors and the demand from production companies to come here has now reached a tipping point where we need to take the city’s offer to the next level.

“These two pop-up sound stages adjacent to the future Littlewoods Film Studios will ensure co-location to the best new facilities in the UK and transform Liverpool’s ability to provide the TV and film industry with a more all-round package, enabling us to attract a more diverse range of productions which will, in turn, will create more jobs.”

Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram said the new facilities alongside the wider Littlewoods Studios development would mean the city could offer the full package to production companies, from filming backdrops to editing and recording work.

“This scheme has the potential to be a real game changer for the entire region, building a ‘Hollywood of the North’ that will attract jobs and productions from around the world to the area, as well as providing local people with world-class training and job opportunities,” he added.

Image credit | Littlewoods