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Sunderland film studio plans are unveiled

Plans for a new UK film studio complex touted as one of the largest in Europe have been unveiled.

Crown Works Studios has been proposed as a new production hub on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland.

Construction is projected to begin this year and end in 2027 but the scheme is dependent on government support and subject to planning processes.

"It is a clear show of confidence in the region and its people," Sunderland Central MP, Julie Elliot said.

Proposals suggest 1.68m sq ft (156,077 sq m) studio space including up to 20 sound stages, along with production buildings and workshops, could be built at Pallion.

The companies behind the scheme, Fulwell 73 and Cain International, claim it could create more than 8,000 jobs across the North East.

In a joint statement, the partners at Fulwell 73 - Gabe Turner, Ben Turner, Leo Pearlman, Ben Winston and James Corden - said the studio would "put the region on the map as a global production destination".

"We are unified in our belief that there is a unique opportunity to bring further high end production to the UK through this ambitious Sunderland-based studio," they said.

Leo Pearlman, managing partner at Fulwell 73, said the studio hub "would create a long term production industry" and "attract even more significant high end production to the UK".

It comes after plans were unveiled for the Shipyard Studios creating 1,000 jobs, towards the end of last year.

'Mixed feelings'

Labour MP Ms Elliot added that it was a "landmark moment for the city".

"These plans will bring transformational change to the local and regional economy on an unprecedented scale," she said.

"I have worked closely with many people to support and champion the huge opportunity this investment will bring to our city. I can't wait to see it come to fruition once the planning process has been completed."

However, Conservative councillor for Ryhope Usman Ali said there had been mixed views from residents.

"I think any form of investment like what has been called 'Pallywood' can only be a positive thing for Sunderland," he said.

"I know a lot of people have mixed feelings, some people want to bring it back for shipbuilding.

"Personally, being born and bred in Sunderland, I'd love to bring that back but obviously [there is] the cost and dredging is a problem. I feel if something like this is coming forward, why not give it a go?"


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