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04 Dec, 2023

Film Studio Complex to Bring Huge Regeneration to Liverpool

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    Liverpool Seeks to Become “Hollywood of the North”; Good News for the Buy-to-Let Market

    Liverpool is a city known for its arts and culture scene. Now, the city seeks to become the North West’s answer to Hollywood with a £70m film and television studio complex on the outskirts of the town centre.

    Once completed, the studios could prove advantageous for the local property market.

    Read on for more information.

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    What Are the Plans for the New Liverpool Studios?

    Capital & Centric officially submitted a thorough planning application to regenerate the Littlewoods headquarters on Innovation Boulevard in Wavertree into a multimillion-pound film and TV studio.

    The Manchester-based developer received £17m of backing from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

    Plans for the development include a complete restoration of the Art Deco building on Edge Lane.

    The site has been subject to numerous plans for over a decade, but the idea has suffered setbacks and delays. A 2021 council report stated the project was “high risk” but also has huge benefits for the City of Liverpool if successful.

    Capital & Centric have already redeveloped an adjacent building on the plot. The Bunker is a hub for creative industries. The building caught fire in September 2018, and many feared it would be demolished. However, the Bunker now stands completed and houses numerous businesses, providing jobs for creatives in the area.

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    What Is the Film and TV Scene Like in Liverpool?

    Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Liverpool Film Office, Liverpool has become the second-most popular city in the UK for film and television production. Blockbusters like The Batman and Munich: The Edge of War were filmed in the city centre, as was the recent ITV remake of The Ipcress File.

    However, the lack of post-production facilities or sound stage has hampered Liverpool’s potential as an alternative to “Hollywood” in the North of England.

    The local council has invested £3m to develop pop-up studios on Innovation Boulevard. However, adding two permanent studios will attract big-budget productions to the city, boosting the local economy and property sector.

    The movie industry is not the only aspect of Liverpool’s art and culture scene getting a revamp. Since Anfield started hosting gigs again, the city has welcomed music superstars like Elton John, The Rolling Stones and, in the near future, Taylor Swift.

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      What Did the Developers Say About the New Liverpool Studios?

      John Moffat, managing director of Capital & Centric, said:

      ‘From The Batman to Taylor Swift, Liverpool’s stellar reputation as having every ingredient to make shoots a possibility has drawn big stars and production companies here.

      ‘The Littlewoods Project is all about doubling down on the city being a compelling home for the sector, providing a missing piece of the jigsaw with more indoor studio space and vital support facilities.

      ‘People have known for some time that the site is down to become a TV and film destination, but it’s a massive step forward to work up the detailed plans and show people what we’ve got in store for this iconic site.

      ‘We listened to the feedback from our consultation and have made sure the Littlewoods Project won’t just be buzzing with those working in the creative industries but will also open up to the community.’

      Elsewhere, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram had the following to say about the studio plans:

      ‘We have become a magnet for film and TV productions from around the world in recent years – making us the UK’s most filmed location outside of London.

      ‘But I want to take our region to the next level, to stake our claim as the “Hollywood of the North”.

      ‘The £17m we’re investing into both Littlewoods and The Depot will be central in turning that ambition into a reality – helping us to cater for every stage of the production process and creating new jobs and training opportunities for local people.’

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      What Other Regeneration Plans Are in the Works for Innovation Boulevard?

      The studios are only one part of the regeneration plan for the plot of land.

      The scheme will also develop offices, studio support facilities, and workshops, helping the wider economy.

      There are plans to make the area more accessible to the local community. For instance, the Littlewoods canteen will be transformed into a screening and performance zone, featuring five cinema screens and an outdoor performance facility.

      The plans also detail a green courtyard for community use, landscaping, and greenery that pays tribute to Liverpool’s movie stars.

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        What Does the Liverpool Studio Plan Mean for the Local Property Market?

        Liverpool is a city that has benefited from massive urban regeneration in recent times.

        For instance, the Baltic Triangle has undergone huge redevelopment, transforming into one of the coolest places to live (according to Time Out).

        In addition, the Knowledge Quarter has breathed new life into the city’s science and tech sector, boosting the allure of the city centre postcodes for property investors – it is now home to Liverpool’s first eco-property, Element The Quarter.

        Introducing two studios in the city centre could have a similar impact to Leavesden in Watford or MediaCityUK in Salford.

        Interestingly, in the year after the BBC made their base in Salford, property prices in the area rose at a higher rate than anywhere in the country.

        Leavesden was home to the Harry Potter movies and has since become a world-famous studio tour dedicated to the titular boy wizard, attracting people from all over the world to walk among the movie sets and see how those movies were made.

        The new Liverpool studios will greatly boost the local economy, creating many jobs and bringing new people into the area for work. As such, the surrounding areas will become more desirable for tenants and BTL investors.

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        Liverpool is already one of the top places for property investment in the UK, thanks to strong capital growth potential (20.2% by 2028), below-average property prices and strong rental yields; the addition of a thriving film and television industry would only boost the city’s appeal further.

        Read more about Liverpool Regeneration – The 20 Major Projects Changing the Face of the City or take a look at our Birkenhead Buy-to-Let 2023 Guide for more information on property investment in the North West.

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        Dale Barham

        Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.

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