The Crown Works Studios will be built on ground that extends up from Pallion Shipyard on the banks of the river Wear, according to proposals presented by FulwellCain Studios, a partnership between international entertainment group Fulwell 73 and Cain International. The studio’s supporters aim to start building on a three-phase program as early as this year, albeit this is reliant on government funding and is subject to planning procedures. The partners plan to construct 1.7 million square feet of studio space over a four-year period, which will comprise up to 20 sound stages as well as production buildings and workshops, as reported by Construction Journal.
The ambitious plans are said to be “the single most significant development statement to come out of the North East in decades,” according to local leaders. The studios are expected to change the city’s economy in a way that has yet to be seen since Nissan invested in Sunderland in the 1980s, according to local council members.
Fulwell 73’s managing partner, Leo Pearlman, stated: “Fulwell is a family-based business, and the North East is ingrained in our DNA. It is a profoundly humbling experience to be able to bring Fulwell back to Sunderland, where my family has had a business for more than 100 years and where the concept for our international entertainment firm first began.
Sunderland City Council, which is supporting the project, has gathered a number of important partners to work with the investors to formulate strategies, including those pertaining to the development of the skills-base required to support the initiative. The programme is an addition to the previously mentioned Shipyard Studios plans, which will enable a larger cluster of media and film-related activities.