MAJOR DEAL SIGNED FOR £70M LITTLEWOODS SCHEME
A £70m TV and film complex at Liverpool’s iconic Littlewoods building has reached a major milestone with a deal signed that kick starts work on the scheme.
The developer behind the project, CAPITAL&CENTRIC, has entered into a partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council to bring forward the first phase of the regeneration project.
It comes after the Combined Authority approved £8m of funding for remediation, design and planning for the project as part of a total funding package of £17m.
The site has lain derelict for years, but plans have been put in place to transform the Edge Lane building into a new home for the big and small screen.
The site has the potential to become one of the biggest film and television complexes in the UK, bolstering Liverpool’s position at the forefront of the UK’s creative industry.
The UK’s oldest film studios, Twickenham, is already signed up as the anchor tenant. However, in October it emerged Liverpool John Moores University had withdrawn from the project, with it confirming they will not be leasing space, although council chiefs and the developer said it would not impact implementation of the development.
John Moffat, at 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.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor Liverpool City Region, said:
“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. I can’t wait to see work start on the project!”
Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for development and economy, said:
“The remediation phase of the Littlewoods Buildings is the first major milestone in transforming this iconic venue into a film centre that Liverpool deserves – and needs.”
The signing of the deal enables a contractor to be appointed with remediation of the site expected to complete by the end of 2023.
In its heyday Littlewoods employed thousands of people, with the area feeling the impact when its largest employer closed.
The new complex aims to contribute to the regeneration of the area, create jobs and drive investment.
According to economic experts Ekosgen, Littlewoods Studios will support up to 3,650 jobs and result in an annual boost of £199m (GVA) to the local economy.
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