Fulwell 73 submits its blockbuster plans to build £450m film studio in Sunderland

Crown Work studios could become one of Europe’s largest film facilities if planning permission is approved, bringing 8,450 jobs to Sunderland, including trades and manual skills. Credit: Fulwell 73

Global entertainment company Fulwell 73 has officially submitted plans to Sunderland Council for a £450m film studio to be built on the banks of the River Wear.

Known for producing Friends:The Reunion; Meet the Kardashians and Sunderland 'Til I Die, Fulwell 73's formal planning application represents the most significant step forward to date for Crown Works Studios to become a reality.

The studios, named after a former shipyard on the proposed site, could create 8,450 jobs, including trades and manual skills, and generate £334m for the local economy every year.

There is a growing demand for studio space in the UK and Fulwell 73's managing partner, Leo Pearlman, said: “This is a transformational plan that will reinvigorate not only the city and region’s economy, but will represent a shot in the arm for the UK’s creative industries and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure the impact of the studios are fully understood and supported.”

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “This represents an important step forward for the city, underlining our commitment to a scheme that will be just about be the most ambitious catalyst for economic development seen for decades in the North East."

James Corden formed Fulwell 73 with lifelong friends and the company produces his Late Late Show featuring the popular carpool karaoke. Credit: PA

Leo Pearlman formed Fulwell 73 with actor James Corden and lifelong friends but they have now joined forces with real-estate investment firm, Cain International, to propose building what will become one of Europe's largest film facilities.

Sunderland City Council has bid for government approval as FulwellCain sets out specific plans for phase one of the studios. Two further phases have also been submitted for outline consent.

The development will deliver a 1.68m sq ft film industry hub with 20 premium sound stages suitable for major feature film and HETV productions.

Crown Works Studios will include provision for production workshops and office space, a vendor village for supply chain businesses, administrative and social facilities, a multi-storey car park and an extensive backlot.

If planning consent is granted when it goes before the local authority’s committee in March 2024, all local permissions will be in place to progress with the scheme.

If the government then gives the green light, work could begin in 2024 with the final phase set to complete by 2027.

Mr Pearlman explained: “Sunderland City Council has shown its commitment to our plans with this application, and we have demonstrated ours too, with everything lined up and ready to go should we gain approval and get the support we need from Government.

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