Liverpool, which is currently hosting productions including Sky’s “Funny Girl” and Channel 4’s “The Curse,” will open a new film and TV production studio in the city on Monday.
Called The Depot, it’s located close to both the city centre and major roads and is comprised of two 20,000 sq ft units with soundproofing. It is also close to the site of the future Littlewoods Studios.
The opening is partly a response to the U.K.’s production boom, which has seen Liverpool – the birthplace of “Free Guy” star Jodie Comer and “Cracker” scribe Jimmy McGovern – become the second most filmed city in the country, often doubling as New York or London, earning it the nickname “Hollywood of the North.”
Among the titles that have recently filmed in the city are “Peaky Blinders,” “Doctor Who” and upcoming Robert Pattinson movie “The Batman.”
The studio received a £17 million funding commitment from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund. Liverpool City Region also recently part financed McGovern’s BBC drama “Time” with Sean Bean, which was filmed in the city.
Liverpool Film Office (LFO), which is managing The Depot also intends to form training initiatives with local companies to bolster talent with the aim of encouraging productions to remain in the city for as long as possible and result in a £24m economic boost for the region. The Depot will also have the benefit of creating 360 new jobs and 760 indirect jobs.
“We’ve been campaigning for studio space since before Samuel L Jackson was running round the city in a kilt!” said Lynn Saunders, head of LFO, referring to Jackson’s film “The 51st State,” which was filmed in the city. “Over those years we’ve gotten very creative around providing alternatives to productions who need more than our region’s locations – but to now be able to actually show off two enormous purpose-built structures, that will be filled with crews and stars, filmmakers can really unleash all their creativity in Liverpool.”
“For us it’s more than a space for sets, it’s an opportunity to build a production hub in the city region, where we can embed the local filming infrastructure network and develop training opportunities to future-proof Liverpool’s prime position in the industry.”
“I love the fact that Liverpool has these new TV and film studios,” said McGovern. “Everyone knows how great the city is in hosting productions, but we can’t always complete a shoot here due to a limited studio capacity.
“These new studios will be a huge shot in the arm for the sector and especially for the hugely talented army of people who make the magic happen off screen, as they will save a lot of time wasted having to travel to other studios elsewhere.”