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MU Welcomes Funding Deal for Sunderland’s Crown Works Studios

Sunderland looks set to become one of the largest filmmaking hubs in Europe, creating opportunities for musicians across the North East.

Published: 26 March 2024 | 10:40 AM Updated: 26 March 2024 | 12:00 PM
North bank of the River Wear in Sunderland, looking toward the town centre.
The banks of the River Wear, once home to Sunderland’s powerhouse shipbuilding industry, could be an area of transformation for the city's economy. Image credit: Shutterstock.

Plans for a major film and TV studio in the North East have received a serious boost, with the Government investing up to £120 million over ten years in a bid to turn Sunderland into “The Hollywood of the North”.     

£450 million of private investment had already been raised by FulwellCain Studios, a joint venture between global entertainment company Fulwell 73 and Cain International, to build what will become one of Europe's largest film and TV studio complexes in Pallion on the banks of the River Wear.

Around 8,500 new jobs are expected to be created by the development, which will generate over £300 million for the economy annually.

Fantastic news for the North of England

MU Regional Organiser for the North of England Paul Reed said: “This is fantastic news for the North of England and fully welcomed by The MU – not least as such a development will create some seriously exciting opportunities for musicians across the region and beyond.

“It will also of course transform Sunderland into a global hub for film and TV production. The economic and cultural impact of such a facility will be immense, and a fitting extension of the North East’s rich history with filmmaking.”

The Government confirmed the plan to provide up to £20m a year for up to ten years, decreasing each year as the studio turns a profit, to incentivise filmmakers to travel and use the site as part of a devolution package for the North East.

If planning permission is approved later this month, the development will be ready by 2027.

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