Plans to establish a film studio on the outskirts of Liverpool have taken a major step forward after councillors backed plans to buy an important plot of land near the site. Mayor Joe Anderson stressed that the deal “is a major statement of intent” for the city to cement its reputation as the Hollywood of the North.
Liverpool City Council’s cabinet, having been advised to do so, has approved the £1.8m purchase of 11.47 acres next to the former Littlewoods HQ – known as the MTL site – which will subsequently become the Liverpool Film Studios.
The multimillion-pound project has planning permission and will be built by Capital & Centric, with work expected to begin this summer.
It is envisaged that the MTL site, owned by Homes England, will become the ‘heart of the city’s media and creative industry’ and yield a comprehensive boost regeneration, job creation and investment.
The land is considered key to any potential future expansion of the studios and has been earmarked for phase three of the project.
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.
“This is a growing multimillion-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.”
John Moffat of Capital&Centric called the proposed deal an “important milestone”.
Liverpool is already one of the UK’s most filmed cities outside of London having featured in productions such as Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Broken, Peaky Blinders and One Born Every Minute.