Plans for multi-million pound film studio on former Sunderland shipyard

Artist impressions of how the film studio could look if it goes ahead. Credit: Faulkner Browns

Plans have been submitted to transform an industrial area of Sunderland into a multi-million pound film studio.

If approved by planners, the studios would be based on the site of the former Pallion Shipyard, a former dry dock on the south bank of the River Wear - once dubbed the largest covered shipyard in the world.

The site would include specialist and flexible studios for film and television production, rehearsal spaces and areas to accommodate art and performance installations.

It would would also include a specialist water tank for filming underwater scenes, making it one of just three in the UK and the only one in the north.

Those behind the proposals hope the site would allow the region to cash in a burgeoning film and creative studio industry which is now worth £3.8 billion, with the UK becoming an increasingly in-demand location for productions.

Plans for Pallion Shipyard Studios are being led by Metalwork Pictures USA, Broadwick Live, Pallion Engineering and Kajima Corporation of Japan.

It is hoped when it is operations it would create 61 direct roles and up to 1,200 new roles in creative and manufacturing industries.

The site is located upstream of Riverside Sunderland, a project to regenerate the city's waterfront through a new carbon-neutral development including 1,000 new homes.

In 2017, Sunderland missed out on becoming UK City of Culture 2021, following a bid that celebrated its artistic and cultural offering.

In recent years, the city's cultural quarter has seen major restoration, including venues such as the Empire Theatre, The Peacock and Dun Cow pubs and the newly-completed Fire Station.

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