Liverpool’s screen history celebrated

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Ladbrokes advert being filmed in Liverpool . Liverpool Film Office/Facebook

Ladbrokes advert being filmed in Liverpool . Liverpool Film Office/Facebook

The city’s history as a filming location for TV and film has been archived in a new website launched by the Liverpool Film Office.

The website aims to raise awareness of the city’s on-screen potential and attract new productions to choose Liverpool as a location.

Kevin Bell, locations coordinator for the website, said: “The overall aim is to increase production to the city and make it easier for producers and locations managers to see what is on offer in Liverpool.”

Liverpool has seen a wide array of productions ranging from Hollywood blockbusters, such as Captain America and Harry Potter, TV dramas Bad Cop and Utopia, and adverts for Ladbrokes and Range Rover.

Over the years many TV shows have been set in Liverpool, famous examples including Hollyoaks, Brookside and more recently ITV’s police drama Bad Cop.

Liverpool is also home to the UK’s biggest independent production company, Lime Pictures, responsible for Merseyside-based soap Hollyoaks and the Manchester-set comedy Fresh Meat. Along the way it won a BAFTA for reality drama The Only Way is Essex.

Bell believes that Liverpool has many benefits that other cities do not have. He said: “The backdrop the city provides is so beautiful and cinematic, but also diverse. Productions are able to film almost any environment within a small area with a much easier transport network than other cities.”

The council hope that more films and TV shows pick Liverpool as a destination and that the history of film in the city will act as an inspiration to future filmmakers setting up home grown production companies.

The benefits from filming in the city extend much further than just the production side. Bell said: “All kinds of productions films in the city from major feature films which can employ over 100 people over a short period of time and drama which can provide sustainable long term employment.”

Liverpool Vision reported that the city’s economy has had a £19m boost from film production alone during the last 12 months with the Liverpool Film Office revealing a 40% increase in the first quarter. The London Olympics had a positive effect on the city as many productions that were due to be shot in the Capital were relocated to Merseyside. A total of 227 films, TV shows and adverts were shot in the city during 2011/12.

There is no doubt which city Bell believes is the best in the UK, saying: “I would go as far as saying we are the best city to film in.”

About Jamie Allen, JMU Journalism