The UK’s oldest film studios is expanding into Liverpool with a base at the iconic former Littlewoods building.
London-based Twickenham Studios was set up in 1913 and has become famous for its work on films including ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Italian Job’ to more recent releases like ‘The Martian’ and ‘Baby Driver’.
The company has now teamed up with property developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC, which is transforming the Edge Lane art deco-style building into the £50 million Littlewoods Studios.
Twickenham Studios has agreed to let 85,000 sq ft of space at the television and film hub in a deal which is subject to planning permission, making it the first anchor tenant for the former home of the Football Pools.
Two 20,000 sq ft Hollywood-standard sound stages are proposed for the 1930s building, alongside workshops, wardrobe and prop storage, and offices.
Tim Heatley, co-founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC, says: “Littlewoods is one of Liverpool’s most loved buildings – it’s only fitting that we give the city something they’ll be proud of. Twickenham Studios couldn’t be a better fit. They’ll bring a century’s worth of film-making heritage and help to write a new chapter for the creative industries in and around Liverpool.
“Relighting the excitement and buzz around Littlewoods for a new generation of creative people will be incredible. Our legacy will be Liverpool becoming a proper powerhouse for the film industry, one that will inspire the city’s young people to take up a career in production.”
Maria Walker, chief operating officer of Twickenham Studios, adds: “This is a major milestone in our history. When we saw the vision for Littlewoods we knew we had to be a part of what will be an incredibly special place.
“Liverpool’s architecture, accessibility and can do attitude sees film-makers return to the city time and time again. With the added benefit of our studios, they’ll have access to gold-standard interior facilities right on the doorstep of unique exterior locations.
“It will be great to see Liverpool become an international focal point for TV and film.”
The deal is also being seen as a further boost to Liverpool’s hopes of attracting Channel 4 to the city, after it was confirmed to be among shortlisted locations in the running to provide a home outside of London for the broadcaster.
As Liverpool continues its #4forLiverpool campaign with a site visit from the channel looming, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “The timing could not be better as we get ready to welcome Channel 4 to showcase what Liverpool can offer ahead of their decision on where to locate its new HQ and creative hubs.”
It’s expected that the studios will be up and running in 2020.