NW in 2019 | Action!

The North West has a long-standing TV industry, built around independent drama production and of course, Granada Studios as the northern home of television production, where some of the country’s biggest shows have been produced over the years, writes Melanie Jones of Allied London.

The offering to the industry has grown considerably in the last decade with the development of Media City in Salford attracting significant teams from the BBC, as well as the complimentary locations of Space Project and Sharp Project around the city which have expanded and grown due to demand.

Allied London established All Studios in 2016 and have been operating a TV and film offering from the existing assets we acquired as part of Granada Studios’ estate, as an alternative to the previous ‘events’ use. By 2017, demand for the facility and our network within the industry, regionally and nationally, had grown considerably, and we hosted productions from BBC, Amazon, Netflix and Sky.

The demand for studios in Manchester has complemented our vision for Enterprise City, creating a media, tech and creative cluster for modern industry. With infrastructure investment, to refine our offering from ‘meanwhile use’ to a fully functioning studio operation, and lettings to companies such as The Farm Group, we’re in a good position to create a new city centre media hub.

The demand has also led to the development of assets such as ABC, formerly Astley & Byrom House, which provide prime city centre space for media companies, who want to locate close to the studios and be part of an exciting new cluster for Manchester. However, it’s not just Manchester that is seeing growth, we’re also excited to see how Channel 4 develop in Leeds, which comes at an exciting time as Allied London continue to re-invest in Leeds Dock and further its reputation for media, tech and culture.

Over recent years several large studio facilities have closed across the country, especially in London, such as Fountain Studios and The London Studios. Most notably, the new Television Centre at White City has been successful in bringing in customers like the core daytime ITV programmes that moved from The London Studios. These changes to the availability of studio locations at the heart of production in the UK has pushed mainstream TV shows away from the capital.

Manchester is now the UK’s second busiest production location in the UK, with over 600 productions having been based here over the last three years. It’s stats like these and the attractive subsidies for companies that provide a unique opportunity for All Studios to further the North as an international media destination.

With London facilities closing while television and film production in the UK reaches some of the highest ever levels – due in part to demand viewing and streaming – the potential for growth in the North is considerable.

Your Comments

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Good to see Lime Pictures and the new Twickenham development in Liverpool mentioned, nice to see we have full inclusivity here for the North?

By Just saying

Liverpool needs to get a bloody move-on with it’s planned studios. Time waits for no-one. The window of opportunity will not be open for ever. Build now or Manchester will take it all, and you’ll only have yourself to blame.

By Denby

Hi ‘Just Saying’ – Keep an eye out for Capital & Centric’s piece coming up next week, they’ll be sure to give Twickenham Studios/Littlewoods a mention! Jessica (PNW editor)

By Jessica Middleton-Pugh

@Just saying, Leeds & London get mentioned here while Liverpool isn’t, which tells you all you need to know about the tender mercies the supposed ‘northwest’ Manchester media set have been subjecting Liverpool to for decades.

By Morgan

Will do, but it would be nice if contributors would be more inclusive and not focus on one aspect or area. After all it was for the North?

By Just saying

“Liverpool” is not developing the Littlewoods building, it is Capital and Centric in partnership with Twickenham Studios, and various other partners.


@Morgan, hence my post.

By Just saying

That’s a fair point, “JA”. “Liverpool” does very little these days. Its been that way since around 2010.

If it wasn’t left to philanthropic individuals to try and set some strategy and vision, Liverpool may well have been mentioned in that article, with a Channel 4 win born off the back of more than a year of genuine behind the scenes high level talks. Exactly the sort of hard work that “Liverpool” no longer does (not for the benefit of the people, that is).

By Mike

… interesting article and even more so on the comments – as a son of the City of Liverpool it does need to ‘get a move on’ not just with this particular sector but across the entire development sector, perhaps with the exception of student accommodation and pokey apartments – looking forward to the Capital & Centric reveal but would also like to read more about 10 Streets … yes Everton’s investment in North Liverpool is ace but let’s start to create a new urban neighbourhood around it and make the journey to the Titanic Hotel more welcoming … and I must also say something about plans and civic leadership – there has been a plethora of SRFs commissioned in Liverpool of late but an overarching master vision / implementation framework / delivery plan seems to be lacking … not usually a fan of the Big Plan approach but perhaps in this case it might just help?

By Norman Davies

Comments here giving the impression Liverpool is entirely to blame for its lack of media. It isn’t. Lets not kid ourselves, Manchester and Leeds as ordained regional capitals have powerful friends in Whitehall who effectively just gift them things, including historically media.

By Morgan

The relocation of Channel 4 to Leeds was a political and not a practical decision. Anyone with an ounce of good economic sense knows that this should have been relocated to the North West whether Mediacity or Liverpool Waterfont.This region is the only realistic counterbalance to London. The decision to bypass the North West was a foolish one. The North does not function as one place like London and the South East.

By Elephant

Would the creation of the city centre media hub require changes to the St John’s masterplan developed and publicised by Allied London?

By Enquirer

Some missguided bitter people here. Leeds was the perfect place for Channel 4 to locate. Links to London and Manchester but with a higher standard of living than the North West and a young trendy image that suits the Channel 4 brand. Not to mention the highest graduate retention rate in the country.

By Guti

Guti. You need to open your eyes a bit more. I was in Central Manchester on Friday and walking down Deansgate you could have been in Manhattan. A higher standard of living than the North West? You mean a few streets in Harrogate? House prices in South Manchester are almost on par with the South East.

By Elephant

We’ve heard little about the plans for a media centre at Lime Street former ABC cinema for a while?!
And yes, Ten Streets/North Shore Waterfront…. plans for this new media district should be top of the Metro Mayor’s agenda.

By Roscoe

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