Plans submitted to create huge film studio - including world's largest covered water studio - at Pallion shipyard
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Pallion Engineering has made an application to the local authority for the regeneration and transformation of its substantial land holdings on the River Wear to create a complex with the potential to create more than a thousand new jobs.
This proposal will see the development of upwards of 500,000 sq ft of creative space, retaining the existing mega-structures, which will include the largest covered 'water studio' in the world.
Plans for Pallion Shipyard Studios are being led by production company Metalwork Pictures USA, Broadwick Live (a global events business behind high-profile venues such as Printworks London), Pallion Engineering and Kajima Corporation of Japan.
Andrew Levitas, from Metalwork Pictures, said: “With rapidly growing demand for world class production space, huge local investment, and historically unique infrastructure, Pallion Film Shipyard Studios is singularly positioned to deliver as the premiere production destination globally. This visionary facility for creators and producers alike will offer an overwhelmingly positive impact on the Sunderland community and surrounding areas.
“An area of particular focus is the creation of a deeply-rooted education and mentorship program which both benefits from as well as serves the content creating community. This is hugely exciting.”
Shipbuilding began to decline in Sunderland towards the end of the 1970s and the city’s last shipyards eventually closed in 1989, bringing an end to over six centuries of shipbuilding on the Wear – with Pallion Shipyard the only remaining shipyard in the city.
The latest plans would save the original structures and restore them for new use.
Simeon Aldred, Group Head of Strategy at Broadwick Live, said: “Broadwick Live, are pleased to be working with the team on Pallion Shipyard Studios.
"Broadwick Live are specialists in repurposing venues of scale, railway stations, a Victorian pumping station and the largest print works in Europe. Broadwick have created more than 20 iconic venues and film studios across the UK. We are excited to see the future of this amazing shipyard studio take place.”
Kate Pix, Regeneration Director of Kajima Partnerships, a property and project finance investment company that delivers and manages innovative buildings for the public, said: “Kajima Partnerships are delighted to be a part of this exciting project in The City of Sunderland. We believe it will bring real regeneration and opportunity to this area”.
The re-industrialisation vision of this ambitious project will see the integration of Pallion Shipyard Studios at the heart of the existing Riverside regeneration proposals to create a New Vibrant Creative Quarter.
The proposals will support the creative ambitions being explored by Sunderland City Council, the University of Sunderland and North East Screen, to position the city and North East region to capitalise on the growing opportunities presented by film and media.
Discussions have also been held with Fulwell73, the production company behind Netflix series Sunderland ‘Til I Die about the project.