The team behind plans to transform the former Littlewoods building on Liverpool’s Edge Lane into a Hollywood-ready destination for TV and film is inviting residents to give their input in on the project.
Social impact developers Capital&Centric have revealed more details about their plans for the iconic 1930s building, which will include new studio spaces, workspaces, and workshops for the industry, along with a screening and performance zone that’s open to the public.
They’ve launched a month-long consultation on the £70 million repurposing of the whole site, as well as revealing details of the Littlewoods Film & Food Fest, a one-off charity event in the neighbouring The Depot on Saturday, July 15.
Having already developed projects in the city including Bunker and Tempest, they’re now working in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Council, as the landowner, to bring forward the site, with work to clean up the building and prep the site for development set to start this summer.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has committed £17m to develop The Depot – two 22,000 sq ft film and TV studios now open off Liverpool’s Edge Lane – and larger studios in the adjacent Littlewoods building as part of its vision to turn the city region into the ‘Hollywood of the North’.
More detail on The Littlewoods Project
Kick-starting the consultation, Capital&Centric have unveiled more about what’s in store as they draw-up a planning application to be submitted to the local planning authority.
The existing building features three distinct sections – the east and west wings, which are separated by the Hangar, a 1960s add-on. The plans include:
- For the existing buildings to feature spaces such as offices, options for hotel rooms/accommodation for crew, an education facility, roof terrace with city views, as well as workshops and studio support facilities.
- Two new build 20,000 sq.ft studios on the site, adjacent to the existing buildings, providing space for big budget productions to film.
- A screening and performance zone set within the existing hangar and open to the public. It will feature four cinema screens, a performance space and a foodhall.
Capital&Centric are also proposing a lush, green courtyard for the community, with a link through to the neighbouring Botanic Gardens.
The Littlewoods Film & Food Fest
To celebrate, Capital&Centric are opening The Depot – Liverpool Film Office’s sound stages that neighbour the Littlewoods site – to the public for the first time ever!
They’re staging The Littlewoods Film & Food Fest on Saturday 15 July. The family-friendly festival will bring the giant sound stages to life, with film screenings, local food stalls, drinks, mini golf, face-painting and a DJ, with two sessions to choose from:
The Day Sesh: Expect family fun with all of the above and a screening of the magical ‘Matilda The Musical’. Doors 12pm / Screening 1pm
The Evening Sesh: One for the grown-ups with all of the above and the epic ‘The Batman’ filmed right here in Liverpool. Doors 6pm / Screening 7pm
Tickets are just £5 including free popcorn, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to Unity Youth and Community Centre. Tickets are available to book here.
How to have your say on The Littlewoods Project
Capital&Centric’s consultation on The Littlewoods Project is now open and runs until Monday 17 July 2023.
Everyone is welcome to a consultation drop-in event on Thursday 29 June 2023, 3pm – 8pm, at Bunker, Innovation Boulevard, Liverpool L7 9PW, where visitors can meet the team and have their say on what’s planned.
The team will also be at the Bombed Out Church Makers Market this Sunday 18 June 2023 to speak with visitors about the plans, with limited edition art prints of the Littlewoods building on sale for charity.
People can also submit their comments online or contact the project team here.
Capital&Centric are well-known for their creative regeneration projects across England, where they mix the old and new with a recognisable high-end design stamp.
Plans for The Littlewoods Project capitalise on Liverpool’s increasing reputation as a go-to place for film and TV productions, with the city providing the backdrop for renowned projects from Peaky Blinders and Captain America, to The Batman and Fantastic Beasts. In turn, it’s expected to create thousands of jobs and new opportunities for locals to get into the creative industries.
John Moffat, Joint Managing Director at Capital&Centric, said:
“Thousands have been through the building’s doors in its former guises, whether as the home of the Pools or as a monumental manufacturing hub during World War II. We want to produce a worthy sequel to that incredible origin story, helping the site to be re-born as a new UK focal point for TV and film production.
“We’re now working up the plans in detail and the consultation is an opportunity for people to have their say on what we’ve got in store. As well as the Hollywood-standard studio building, workshops and offices, we want to make sure The Littlewoods Project embraces the surrounding community. That’s why we’re planning to incorporate loads of creative spaces, such as an educational facility; a screening space and foodhall that’ll be open to the public; and lush, landscaped areas where people can unwind.
“The upcoming Littlewoods Film & Food Fest will be a real celebration of how far the city has come in establishing itself as a British success story when it comes to international production. We hope people head down for a great time with their mates and family, and help raise money for a worthy local cause.”