The ambitious plan to turn the iconic but dilapidated Littlewoods Building in Liverpool, UK, into a major TV and film studios has taken a big step forwards.
The project’s developer, Capital&Centric has entered into a partnership with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council to get going on the first phase of the £70M ($86M) regeneration plan.
This comes soon after the Combined Authority approved an £8M package of remediation, design and planning, which comprised part of a bigger £17M funding package, which has also delivered The Depot studios adjoining at a cost of £3M. Deliberations over the plan have been ongoing for a year.
The plan is to turn the Littlewoods Building, whose iconic art deco storefront was the HQ of shopping store Littlewoods, into one of the UK’s biggest and most important TV and film complexes, with Twickenham Studios already signed up as the anchor tenant.
However, the work needed to achieve that is huge, as the building as lain empty for years and damaged by fire in 2018.
John Moffat of Capital&Centric said: “This is a huge moment for the Littlewoods Project and the Liverpool city region. Regeneration at this scale is always going to be complex, but the legal agreements are now in place so we can start delivering this transformational project. It has the potential to provide Liverpool’s young people with the opportunity to be part of the UK’s booming film and TV industry, generating millions of pounds for the local economy and creating thousands of jobs for generations to come.”
Liverpool claims to be the UK’s most filmed location outside of London, and a new studio complex would take it to the next level, with the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram saying he want to turn it into the “Hollywood of the North.”
The signing of the deal enables a contractor to be appointed, and remediation of the site expected to complete by the end of 2023.