Liverpool hosts 670 filming days during a pandemic-hit year

The Batman was among the high-profile projects to film in the city during 2020 

By Nia Daniels 16 Dec 2020

Liverpool hosts 670 filming days during a pandemic-hit year
The Batman filming at St George's Hall in October

Liverpool Film Office has released filming figures for 2020, a unique year in which six months were effectively wiped out production-wise, due to the Covid019 pandemic. 

The report shows that the city hosted 212 productions, comprising 670 filming days, which boosted the local economy by nearly £13.5m and supported 490 jobs. 
Due to the pandemic, this year’s stats showed a 35% drop in the number of productions and a 62% in the number of filming days, although several high-profile productions filmed in the city, including The Batman (Warner Bros), The Irregulars (Netflix), Time (BBC) Munich 38 (Netflix), COBRA Series 2 (Sky), Ridley Road (BBC One) Viewpoint (ITV), It’s a Sin (Channel 4), Intergalactic (Sky) and Hospital (BBC).

Liverpool City Region Production Fund has recently funded BBC One Jimmy McGovern drama Time which stars Stephen Graham and Sean Bean and Channel 4’s Help which again stars Stephen Graham alongside Jodie Comer. More funding announcements will be made in the New Year.  
The Film Office also established the Film & TV Development Fund in response to Covid-19 which saw the creation of a  £250,000 fund to support regional producers, writers and other creative talent.
Liverpool’s acting mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The film and TV industry came to a standstill as a result of the health pandemic – but our ambition stayed strong and focused on recovery and growth this year . To still bring £13 million in to the local economy and host such a large number of productions is testament to the incredible work of our Film Office team and the draw of the city region as a filming location.
“The importance of that economic boost should never be underestimated, we have to understand its impact on the supply chain. In a year when our hotels and leisure sector have been hit so hard financially this has been the difference between survival and closure for many.”
Manager of Liverpool Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said: “This time last year we were gearing up for 2020 to be a record-breaking year in terms of the number of productions heading to the city region – it may not have gone to plan but it has still been a busy year for very different reasons. 
“During the first lockdown we worked hard to put plans in place which would enable filming to return in a covid-safe manner. One of the first major projects to make those plans a reality was the biggest movie being filmed in the world at that time – The Batman – so we don’t do things be halves in the Film Office!
“Seeing filming back in the city region feels right. We lost nearly six months when it should have been our busiest time of year, but as the report shows, our production figures remain strong which I’m incredibly proud of.  
“We are already looking ahead to 2021 which not only has a packed schedule, but we’ll be working on the creation of the two new pop-up studios which will give our filming offer a new and exciting edge, allowing us to accommodate even more productions and maintain our reputation as one of the most filmed locations outside of London.”        

Image: The Batman filming at St George's Hall in October. 

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