With studio space at a premium in the U.K., a major new development is being planned for Liverpool in northern England. Twickenham Studios and property developer Capital&Centric unveiled plans Thursday for the £50 million ($67 million) project, which has been dubbed Littlewoods Studios.
Using the art deco buildings once occupied by defunct British department store and football gambling company Littlewoods, plus surrounding land, the development will feature two 20,000-square-foot sound stages as well as workshops, prop storage, and office space.
The developers own the Littlewoods buildings and need planning permission for the project. The plan is for Twickenam Studios, the base for “Blade Runner” and countless other big features, to become the first anchor tenant, providing it with a base in the north of England to complement its existing base in southwest London.
“Liverpool’s architecture, accessibility and can-do attitude sees filmmakers return to the city time and time again,” said Maria Walker, COO of Twickenham Studios. “With the added benefit of our studios, they’ll have access to gold-standard interior facilities right on the doorstep of unique exterior locations. It will be great to see Liverpool become an international focal point for TV and film.”
“Twickenham Studios couldn’t be a better fit,” added Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital&Centric. “They’ll bring a century’s worth of filmmaking heritage and help to write a new chapter for the creative industries in and around Liverpool. Our legacy will be Liverpool becoming a proper powerhouse for the film industry, one that will inspire the city’s young people to take up a career in production.”
In recent times, movies such as “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and TV series including “Peaky Blinders” have filmed in the city. It is also on the shortlist to be Channel 4’s out-of-London headquarters as the broadcaster moves a chunk of its operations from London.
“The arrival of such an iconic film production company as Twickenham Studios to Liverpool is a fantastic vote of confidence in the city’s booming film industry,” said Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson.