The MTL site sits alongside the former Littlewoods HQ building
The MTL site sits alongside the former Littlewoods HQ building
Richard Bell

Major boost for Liverpool’s plan to become ‘Hollywood of the North’

Plans for a world-class film studio in Liverpool are set for a major boost.

The city council’s Cabinet is about to approve the £1.8m purchase of 11.47 acres of land next to the former Littlewoods HQ, which developer Capital & Centric is turning into a new film production facility.

The developer is due to start work on the 250,000 sq ft scheme this summer.

Liverpool City Council hopes the adjacent land, known as the MTL site, will offer opportunities for further regeneration and job creation.

Forming part of Liverpool Innovation Park on Edge Lane, the MTL site is considered key to future expansion of the studios. Homes England, formerly the Homes and Community Agency, owns the land.

It is earmarked for phase three of the Film Studios development, which will look to establish a creative and digital media campus of national significance.

Liverpool is already the UK’s most filmed city outside London. In 2017, the Liverpool Film Office recorded its busiest year to date with 289 film and TV projects shot in and around the city, generating £11.1m for the local economy.

Liverpool Mayor 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.”

He added: “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.”

Mayor Anderson is one of a number of voices calling for broadcaster Channel 4 to establish its new home in the city.

Capital & Centric’s John Moffat said of the Liverpool Film Studios development: “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.”

He added: “Demand for the space has blown us away and we can’t wait to announce our first residents in the coming months.”

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