GDP1 million boost secured for Liverpool City Region Production Fund
The Liverpool Film Office has secured an additional GDP1 million for its Liverpool City Region (LCR) Production Fund. Drawing from the LCR Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, the boost is designed to attract more high-end productions to the city over the next 12 months.
“This investment is testament to the exceptional work of Liverpool Film Office,” explains Joanne Anderson, Liverpool’s Mayor, “which is responsible for revolutionising the number of high-quality productions filmed in the city region. The brainchild of Liverpool Film Office, this initiative wouldn’t have been feasible without vital funding from the Combined Authority, and it’s rewarding to work in partnership on a project which is making a tangible difference to the sector.”
Two record-breaking projects – Channel 4’s Help, starring Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham, and Jimmy McGovern’s BBC drama Time – recently received assistance from the fund. Time was one of BBC’s highest performing new dramas of 2021 with 11.6 million viewers over 28 days, and Help hit 1.1 million streams after just four days, representing the biggest launch of a new All 4 drama ever recorded. Two forthcoming projects – The Ipcress File with Joe Cole, and primetime series The Responder, starring Martine Freeman – are also set to receive financial investment from the fund.
“The LCR Production Fund made everything possible for Help,” states Beth Willis, Help’s Executive Producer. “The planning time for such a time specific show (set at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020), during the second lockdown was extremely tight – and Chris Moll and Liverpool Film Office had our backs from the start. They supported the vision and the talent to make the show possible – and opened the doors of Liverpool to us with open arms.”
Liverpool’s Production Fund was launched in 2019 as part of a wider strategy to enhance the economic and cultural footprints of the city’s film and television industries, and the latest news is a massive vote of confidence for a scheme that has so far invested GDP1.7 million towards six major media projects. Collectively, the six productions are estimated to have delivered over GDP12 million of direct inward investment into the local economy.
The announcement arrives as Liverpool Film Office readies to draw further production to the city region with the opening of The Depot, the city’s new purpose-built media shooting space. Liverpool is the UK’s second most filmed city, experiencing a real surge in filmmaking during the past 18 months despite the ongoing challenges of Covid-19. In addition to the aforementioned projects supported by the LCR Production Fund, the city has also played host to feature films and high-end television dramas such as The Batman, Daliland, Funny Girl, Peaky Blinders, Midas Man, COBRA: CYBERWAR, Doctor Who and Stay Close.
Images: Help © Channel 4/Brian Sweeney, Time © BBC/James Stack.
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