Home Estate Planning Spring Budget 2024: Jeremy Hunt could back £450m ‘Hollywood of the North’

Spring Budget 2024: Jeremy Hunt could back £450m ‘Hollywood of the North’

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Plans for a £450m film and TV studio in the North East of England could be backed by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt when he unveils his spring Budget later this week.

Dubbed the ‘Hollywood of the North’, the proposals would see Crown Works Studios developed in Sunderland and feature up to 20 sound stages for blockbuster film and TV productions.

The project is being spearheaded by production company Fulwell 73 which is behind Netflix football documentary Sunderland ‘Til I Die and the reboot of Byker Grove. It also holds an equity stake in Sunderland AFC.

The project has been in the works for a number of years but hit the headlines recently when news organisations across the North backed the plans in a joint campaign.

The proposals for Crown Works Studios have already been submitted for planning permission. Credit Fulwell 73.

Jeremy Hunt has previously said he has had “very good discussions” with the backers of the project. However, it remains to be seen whether financial support will be announced on Wednesday.

Writing on LinkedIn Leon Pearlman, managing partner at Fulwell 73, said: “In less than 72 hours Jeremy Hunt will announce the spring Budget and with it we will know whether three years of work on Crown Works Studios has been successful or not

“We believe absolutely that the scale, ambition and upside of this project is what sets it aside from anything else that the Government could support at this time, at capacity providing 8,500 new jobs and over £350m of annual GVA to the region 

“We believe absolutely that in success this project will not only provide a significant boost to the UK’s creative industry but regenerate our great region, offering the next generation of North East creatives the opportunities that they’ve been deprived of for so long and a future for young people that has long been promised but very rarely delivered upon.”

Crown Works Studio could receive financial backing in the Spring Budget 2024. Credit – 4D Studio

To develop the proposals, which have already been submitted for planning permission, Fulwell 73 worked with global investment group Cain International and Sunderland City Council.

A decision on whether planning permission should be granted is expected in the coming weeks.

If approved, work could start on site later this year, with the first productions to start filming by 2025.

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