New details about the future of Liverpool’s historic Littlewoods building have been released as the public are invited to have their say.
After years of stalled dreams and proposals, Liverpool Council and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority committed to redevelopment of the iconic 1930s site in a £70m project. An initial tranche of £8m for refurbishment works was signed off last year.
Now, developers Capital&Centric have revealed new details about their plans to transform the site into a major film and TV complex as they launched a month-long consultation.
The building is divided into three sections including the east and west wings, separated by a 1960s addition, the Hangar. Under the new proposals, which will form the basis of a planning application to be submitted to Liverpool Council, the existing buildings would be used as office space, hotel accommodation for crew, an education facility and roof terrace.
Workshops and studio support facilities would also be developed alongside two newly built 20,000 sq.ft studios for TV and film projects. A screening and performance zone would also be set within the existing hangar and open to the public.
It would feature four cinema screens, a performance space and a food hall. A green courtyard would also be installed for the community, with a link through to the neighbouring Botanic Gardens.
The consultation on the Littlewoods project is now open and runs until Monday 17 July. A consultation drop-in event is to be held on 29 June at Bunker on Innovation Boulevard, where visitors can have their say.
Plans will also be on display at the Bombed Out Church makers market this Sunday.
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 reborn 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.”
To mark the progress, the neighbouring Depot site is to open to the public for the first time to stage the Littlewoods Film and Food Fest on Saturday 15 July. The family-friendly festival will bring the giant sound stages to life, with film screenings, food stalls, drinks, mini golf, face-painting and a DJ, with two sessions to choose from.
A “day sesh” is to be held from 12pm with an evening event at 6pm. Tickets are £5 including free popcorn, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to Unity Youth and Community Centre.
Mr Moffat added, “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.”