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Public consultation begins for £450m Sunderland film studios

Proposed Sunderland studio site, courtesy FullwellCain/Lichfields

The production company behind Sunderland ‘Til I Die has started the public consultation process for its planned £450m new film studio on Wearside.

Crown Works Studios, a joint venture between Cain International and entertainment company Fulwell 73, would be built on the banks of the River Wear and could create over 8,000 jobs in the North East.

Plans are now moving to public consultation, with assistance from planning specialist Lichfields, for the 154,215 sq m site near the Northern Spire Bridge.

If approved, the development will be the largest studio complex outside of London and the South East.

FullwellCain Studios has worked closely with Sunderland City Council in developing the plans which are now available online.

Fulwell73 already has a presence in the North East through its office at the University of Sunderland, which opened in 2021.

It has produced a number of high profile shows including Sunderland ‘Til I Die, An Audience with Adele and The Friends Reunion.

Leo Pearlman, partner of Fulwell 73, said: “Fulwell is a company built on family and the North East is embedded in our DNA. For over 100 years my family had a business here in Sunderland and called this great city home. I really believe in the opportunities for the screen industry to invest in our beloved North East region.

“Through delivering the studios, we will create a long-term production industry infrastructure, contributing to the local economy in the North East, attract even more significant high-end production to the UK; ensuring that future generations of North Eastern talent with all skill sets can develop and prosper at home within the region.”

A full planning application, shaped by feedback, will be handed to Sunderland City Council towards the end of the summer with onsite construction expected to begin as early as next year.

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