A brand new film and TV fund is being launched to attract more productions to Liverpool City Region (LCR), create jobs and boost the local economy.
In a UK first for a combined authority, and the first local authority supported fund in the UK for six years – the LCR Production Fund has been created which will result in more filming taking place across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.
Worth £2million, local, national and international production companies can bid for a maximum investment of £500,000 per proposal – giving a vital financial injection. The Fund is aimed at small and large projects ranging from feature films and TV dramas, right through to scripted comedies and animations. There is an emphasis on working with experienced producers with a substantial production budget.
The Fund has been provided by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund, which aims to promote economic growth in the region, create high-quality jobs and deliver positive social impacts.
Marking the Film Office’s 30th anniversary, it is a huge coup at a time when there is a decline in UK regional production funding due to a lack of EU investment.
In order to meet the criteria for the funding, the projects must use the LCR as a location (for all or part of the project), there must be a focus on employing local people and they are encouraged to use local businesses, such as hotels where the cast and crew will stay during their time in the region. The Film Office will prioritise projects which have strong creative and commercial attachments, and can shine a spotlight on the profile of Liverpool and the city region.
To help manage the fund, Liverpool Film Office has brought in industry expert, Chris Moll. A well-respected producer and senior executive, Chris has worked in the sector for more than 30 years. His many producer credits include the recent BAFTA-nominated The Girl with All The Gifts, Lady Macbeth and the Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit adventure The Wrong Trousers.
He also has first-hand experience of filming in the Liverpool having been an executive producer on the critically acclaimed films Nowhere Boy and Of Time and The City.
Chris will oversee the fund’s investments and work closely with Liverpool Film Office team to provide a fully-integrated offer to supported productions. The applicants which meet the key criteria will be then be reviewed by an Investment Advisory Panel which will consist of local and national figures from the TV and film industry and representatives from Liverpool Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
The announcement comes following a record-breaking filming year in the city in 2018, as the city hosted productions such as varied as Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, Mammoth Screen’s War of the Worlds, ITV2’s Timewasters2 and Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA-winning Broken from locally-based producer LA Productions. Plans are also progressing for a multi-million pound studio facility at the iconic Littlewoods building in the city.
The Film Office service currently encompasses location finding, crew, extras, studios and facilities sourcing, permissions, parking and traffic control.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Film Office.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “This innovative project sees Liverpool once again pushing boundaries and working in a collaborative way which will see a real impact in terms of jobs being created and skills being developed.
“Liverpool is one of the most filmed locations outside of London, with producers and directors repeatedly drawn here to use the region’s world-class locations as a backdrop for their work.
“Our Film Office already offers a premiere service in terms of working with productions in helping them source locations, overseeing traffic control and arranging relevant permissions – but the ambition is to drive more projects here. The Fund means the city region now offers a comprehensive package which makes us a more tempting and viable option than other areas in the UK.
“This comes as steady progress is being made on building the Liverpool Film and TV Studio and underlines our commitment to supporting the film sector, attracting inward investment and growing the creative industries, not only in Liverpool but across the entire city region.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Liverpool City Region has long been one of the UK’s creative hubs so it is absolutely right that as a Combined Authority we have created this £2 million Film Fund.
“By attracting even more productions to film here in our city region we can help to develop the kind of creative ecosystem that delivers highly-skilled jobs for local people, and opportunities for local businesses to grow. We know that film and TV already generates more than £16 million a year for the city region economy and this fund will help increase that even further.”
Fund Advisor Chris Moll said: “The addition of a film and scripted TV fund to the Liverpool Film Office’s already outstanding offer is not only a vote of confidence in the abilities of the team, but also a bold statement of intent as to Liverpool’s aspiration to become a globally-recognised production hub.
“I look forward to contributing my experience and to working with both indigenous and incoming producers to build a diverse investment portfolio of high-quality content over the next 12 to 18 months.”