Film Office announces investment for new BBC drama This City Is Ours

This City Is Ours, a new BBC crime drama from the award-winning creators of The Crown, is the latest project to receive investment from the Liverpool City Region Production Fund via Liverpool City Council’s Film Office.
The project from Left Bank Pictures, began filming this week and will star Sean Bean (Time, Marriage), James Nelson-Joyce (Bird, A Thousand Blows), Hannah Onslow (Empire of Light, This Is Going to Hurt) and Jack McMullen (Hijack, Ford V Ferrari).

Filming will take place across the Liverpool City Region for 14 weeks following investment from the Film Office via the LCR Production Fund, which was launched by Mayor Steve Rotheram, supported by £3 million from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

So far the fund has invested in nine high-end TV dramas including BAFTA-winning shows Time and The Responder, which was written by former Merseyside Police officer Tony Schumacher.

In addition to an expected direct return on investment in these projects, the fund has already provided 402 full time equivalent jobs and opportunities for local crew and over 34 trainees.

Created by writer Stephen Butchard (The Good Mothers, The Last Kingdom), this eight-part series follows Michael, played by Nelson-Joyce while, as he navigates life being in love while firmly embedded in the world of organised crime and the disintegration of his own gang.

Other cast announced for the project include Julie Graham (Shetland, Time), Laura Aikman (Archie, Gavin & Stacey), Kevin Harvey (Treason, Time), Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Derry Girls, Upgraded), Mike Noble (Shardlake, The Long Shadow), Bobby Schofield (SAS Rogue Heroes, The Suspect), Darci Shaw (Judy, A Thousand Blows) and Stephen Walters (Slow Horses, Anne).

While shooting, the production will also support trainee placements for local, new entrant crew from diverse backgrounds from Liverpool Film Office’s new skills initiative Action!.

Action! has been made possible through £2.3m of BFI National Lottery funding which was awarded to Screen Alliance North, a new skills cluster partnership delivered by Liverpool Film Office, North East Screen, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire.

The partnership aims to make the screen sector more accessible and to help build a thriving and skilled workforce across the North of England.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Through the LCR Production Fund we are helping to support incredible productions, which in return are helping us to stake our claim as the UK’s premier filming location outside of London.

“I have no doubt that our region has all the capabilities, facilities and skills to become the ‘Hollywood of the North’ and attract the thousands of well paid jobs and training opportunities that it will bring to our area.”

Mayor Rotheram and the Combined Authority have also committed £17m to develop the former Littlewoods building into a world class film and TV campus as well as The Depot, which comprises two 20,000 sq ft film and TV studios.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: “Following on from what was the Film Office’s busiest year yet, plus the success of the most recently funded Time series 2, we are excited to see yet another local project shoot their story for the screen right here in the city.

“It’s thanks to the team at the Film Office that this production will not only bring significant inward investment to the region but also champion new entrants by providing local trainees the best opportunities to springboard their film and TV careers.

“We look forward to welcoming the team behind This City Is Ours and seeing our local new entrants flourish while gaining valuable hands-on experience working on a real film set.”

Head of Liverpool Film Office and Fund Manager, Lynn Saunders said: “Following on from our busiest year yet and the success of Time series 2, we’re thrilled to announce this latest wave of investment for This City Is Ours from the award-winning Left Bank Pictures.

“By investing in projects such as this, we are supporting scouse talent, creating opportunities for local people, while also boosting the regional economy with over £6 for every £1 of investment being directly spent in the Liverpool City Region.

“We’re also thrilled to be working with the project to support a wave of local new entrants from our Action! programme into paid trainee placements on set, all helping to create a more diverse and inclusive screen workforce in the Liverpool City Region.

“The Film Office is now in its 35th year and having just come out of an extremely busy year for production in the region, we are thrilled to work with residents and feed the infectious buzz filming brings day in and out.

“I look forward to welcoming the team behind This City Is Ours to our magnificent city and excited to see what is to come.”

Picture: (L-R) Sean Bean (Image: Andy Gotts), James Nelson-Joyce, Hannah Onslow and Jack McMullen to star in This City Is Ours ©BBC