Littlewoods Studios Nov21 Image
The project looks to capitalise on a burgeoning TV and film portfolio. Credit: Liverpool City Council

Liverpool looks to trigger work at £70m Littlewoods studio

Neil Tague

An £8m remediation project to enable development at the listed Edge Lane building, the centrepiece of the city’s proposed media complex, goes to cabinet next week.

If the cabinet signs off on the £8m project at its 3 December meeting, the cash will be granted to developer Capital&Centric to carry out site investigations, remediation and main scheme design works.

The £8m required is part of a wider £17m funding package previously agreed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, £3m of which has already delivered The Depot studios on an adjoining plot.

LCC said that phase one works will take approximately a year. Once phase two is fully costed, a full development contract for the £70m redevelopment of the art deco building could be awarded.

The council and Combined Authority are each projected to invest £12m, with a commercial lender sought to provide the balance.

The Littlewoods building, which was damaged by fire in 2018, would include major studios, creative office space and new media facilities.

Although still subject to planning permission, the scheme already has two proposed major anchor tenants in Twickenham Studios and Liverpool John Moores University.

The Littlewoods Studios scheme would comprise:

  • 85,000 sq ft of studio and ancillary space for Twickenham Film Studios, to be operated by TIME+SPACE Studios.
  • 75,000 sq ft of space for LJMU to deliver an entertainment technology centre to ensure local young people develop high-level skills to work in the industry.
  • A further 95,000 sq ft of flexible employment space for creative industries, which will be advertised to market for expressions of interest.

Littlewoods Studios would follow The Depot, which opened last month and comprise two 20,000 sq ft temporary filming stages, managed by the Liverpool Film Office..

Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Littlewoods Studios scheme has the potential to be a real game changer for the city’s TV and film sector, underlining our growth as a truly world class location.

“The move from being the ‘go to city’ for exterior shoots to one that can provide productions with the studios and talent supply to match our stunning backdrops is one the city needs to deliver, as the economic and educational benefits are there for all to see. This report spells out the first steps to bringing this sleeping giant of a building back to life.”

Adam Higgins, co-founder of Capital&Centric, said: “This is a pivotal moment for the Littlewoods project and will kickstart activity on site. We’ve worked hard to get to this stage, investing in developing the vision for the site and securing key tenants. We can’t underestimate what an important regeneration project this is to Liverpool.

“As well as cementing Liverpool’s position at the forefront of the UK’s creative industry, it will bring a shed load of benefits to people living nearby with thousands of jobs and millions invested.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Looking forward to this finally starting and helping the booming TV and Movie production in the LCR.

By Liverpolitis

Meanwhile how much studio space has been built in Manchester? As well as MediaCity, part of Granada Studios has been recommissioned plus the expansion of The Space Project is coming forward. Catch up Liverpool!

By Slowly slowly

This project is a priority and really needs to get onsite, it seems the City Region and Liverpool City Council see it that way too.
The Council have already funded the building of 2 facilities on the site, which are now complete and operational, and earlier this year Capital and Centric( C&C) said once these studios are complete they are ready to go on site, so what has happened since then.
As stated , the council have been very patient about this, and now it looks like C&Cs role will be marginal.

By Anonymous

Fair play to the developers for sticking with this, many would’ve walked away from the Liverpool City Council nonsense. Let’s hope Liverpool doesn’t fluff their lines on this occasion!

By Dave Cousins

Fantastic news for the booming filming industry in Liverpool

By Anonymous

Perhaps the first thing they can do is make a film about all the abandoned schemes around Liverpool and the people behind them…

By Billy Elliot

Trigger…..I like it.

By Larry

The time for Littlewoods Studios has come! These cavernous and glamorous art deco buildings will come back to life 100 years after these wonderful structures captured the spirit of their time and the imagination of the world. Never have more films been made in Liverpool than they are today. Littlewoods Studios will allow much more of the production to be made in Liverpool and will bring many more of the benefits back to our city. The iconic locations that make us the Hollywood of the North will translate into many more jobs for local people and many more opportunities for young people. Littlewoods Studios time has come and and what a great fit they will be on Liverpool’s Edge Hill.

By Pool of Life