Liverpool Attracts Filmmakers To U.K. For Production Goals

Captain America - Movie Still: Captain America: The First Avenger - Group - H - 2011
Susie Allnutt/Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures

U.K. city posts record activity in film and TV in the last six months.

LONDON –  The city of Liverpool birthed The Beatles, is home to the world famous Liverpool FC soccer club owned by Boston Red Sox owner John W. Henry and is the subject of filmmaker Terence Davies’s bittersweet paen to his hometown Of Time and The City.

But now the northern town is on filmmakers’ maps more than ever as a production destination, according to a report published Wednesday.

The report shows that in the six months ending September 2011, production levels across Liverpool rose 22% compared to the same period last year.

Liverpool played host to 171 productions ranging from TV programs to movies and commercials, and brought in £89,000 ($142,000) in revenues to the city council alone.

Productions set in Liverpool include the BBC’s Young Dracula and fresh police drama Savage as well as Lime Pictures and Nickleodeon’s House of Anubis.

A fresh partnership between Liverpool’s Film Office (LFO) and the Albert Dock Company, for the LFO to manage and generate production requests on the regenerated dock site, has resulted in a 155% uptick in productions locating there.

LFO figures indicate production air time values hit £1.5 million ($2.2 million) since April this year.

Overall filming generated £16 million ($25.5 million) for local economy in 2010/2011, according to the report from Liverpool Vision, the city’s economic development organization.

Liverpool City Council member for culture and tourism Wendy Simon said: “Each week there is filming taking place across the city - whether it’s for a children’s TV program, an advert, a documentary or a Hollywood blockbuster.”

The LFO lays claim to being the longest running independent film commission in the U.K. set up by the city council in 1989.

Over the past 10 years the office has attracted an estimated £100 million ($160 million) of inward investment from production expenditure into the Liverpool city region.

Movies filming in Liverpool have included Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy and Captain America: The First Avenger.

“Liverpool’s Film Office is made up a small team of three, but we pride ourselves on our unique local knowledge and expertise which helps attract people from the TV and film industry time and time again,” said LFO manager Lynn Saunders. “It’s all about having a can-do attitude and we’ll always do as much as we can to make filming in Liverpool as easy as possible, no matter how big or small the production.”

LFO is part of the U.K.’s tapestry of film offices all vying to get filmmakers – especially big budget projects backed by U.S. studios – to locate there for part of the shoot.

Glasgow Film Office recently hit the headlines when the center of the Scottish city was shut down for Brad Pitt’s arrival in Scotland to shoot more footage for post-apocalyptic zombie thriller World War Z.

The story made the headlines in August this year as the star arrived in the Scottish city as it was being turned into the streets of Philadelphia for the movie.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said at the time the impact of the production on the local economy “is likely to be in excess of £2 million” ($3.4 million).