EDGE LANE is set to become the “Elstree of the north” under ambitious plans to transform the vacant Littlewoods Building into a giant film and television studio, it is revealed today.
The project, spearheaded by Liverpool City Council, sees the disused, 4.5 acre site being reinvented as sound stages and production studios.
The one time headquarters of the famous pools empire, empty since 2004, has face the threat of demolition, as well as aborted plans for hotels and luxury apartments.
But the latest scheme, to be discussed next Friday by Mayor Anderson’s cabinet, will give the art deco building a very different life.
As well as studios, the site will also provide space for city’s booming creative community, thanks to the success of the Baltic triangle which is facing overwhelming demand for extra space by comapnies in the creative sector..
The new campus, which will span the Littlewoods Building and the neighbouring Liverpool Innovation Park, will also become the new home of the Liverpool Theatre School, currently based in Aigburth.
The film hub will mean the city will be able to meet demand for film and production facilities after a report by the Liverpool Film Office revealed in the past year the city has missed out on a potential £20m revenue because of capacity issues in the city.
The new Littlewoods campus will mean the city will be albe to meet growing demand from film and TV companies.
The studio will give access to sets of up to 30,000 sq ft, and up to 50 ft high. The sets are liely to appeal not only to film makers, but makers of adverts, music videos and corporate films.
If the scheme is approved, work on the £25m project will start almost immediately, with onsight works commencing as early as January.
Mayor Anderson said: “This project has been a long time in the planning. Various sites were reviewed but the recognisable Littlewoods building offers the scale required and is in a great position to attract productions to the city.”
The council is working with Capital and Centric who the mayor describes as the perfect choice as the developer of the scheme.
“Their experience shows they understand and work well with the creative sector,” added the mayor.
C&C has already completed a £4m conversion of the ‘bunker building’ on the site, providing 20,000 sq ft of office space plus bespoke buildings for the film and TV sector.
Capital and Centric spokeswoman, Michelle Rothwell said: “The Littlewoods building is part of the history of Liverpool, with more than 2,000 people working there at one time. We’re looking forward to bringing back to life what is an incredible and fascinating part of Liverpool’s heritage.”