Studios planning approval for Liverpool’s ‘Hollywood of the North’

The green light was given this morning (December 2) at Liverpool City Council’s planning committee to build two 20,000 sq ft sound studios on land adjacent to the famous Littlewoods Building, off Edge Lane, dubbed the ‘Hollywood of the North’.

The approval is a huge boost to Liverpool’s strategy to cement its reputation as one of Europe’s premier film and TV production hubs.

The city council has already appointed contractor Morgan Sindall to construct the facilities, which will be ideally located being just a 10 minute drive from the city centre and the M62.

With planning approval now granted works will begin this month and the sound stages are expected to be operational by Spring 2021.

In July this year, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved £17m to support the new film and TV stages, along with the Littlewoods Film and TV studios.

Liverpool City Council’s Film Office, which was 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 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.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “I’m delighted we’ve got the green light to create these new sound stages and I can’t wait to see them welcoming their first productions.

“Being adjacent to the future Littlewoods Film Studios, the new sound studios will transform Liverpool’s ability to provide the TV and film industry with a complete support package.

“Such is the interest in the city and in these new facilities we’re already getting calls about bookings before we’ve even built them.

“These sound studios also means the city will have all the right ingredients to be a ‘Hollywood of the North’ for training, production content and talent in Liverpool – which will lead to more investment and more jobs.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “It’s brilliant to see this fantastic project pass its next milestone so that work can progress on these new state of the art film and high-end TV production spaces.

“In an industry of lightning fast innovation and technological improvement, these new facilities are exactly what the city region needs to show the industry that as well as our iconic architectural backdrop, we have world-class filming and production facilities.

It’s a welcome piece of good news in a challenging year.”

He added: “The Liverpool City Region is the country’s cultural and creative capital, known across the world for its music, its film, TV as well as its sport. I look forward to seeing new productions being filmed here to further boost that reputation.”