Next phase for £450m film studio in Sunderland


Planning and development firm Lichfields has launched a public consultation for what will be one of the biggest film studios in Europe. 

Plan for Crown Works Studios.
Credit: 4D Studio.

FullwellCain Studios, a joint venture between Cain International and entertainment company Fullwell73, announced plans for Crown Works Studios in February 2023. 

The JV is working with strategic partner Sunderland City Council and Lichfields to develop 33 hectares of land into a film industry hub in Pallion, on the south bank of the River Wear.

Work will begin on site in 2023, with FullwellCain expecting the final phase to complete by 2027. 

Full scope 

Designed by Architect 4D Studio, the hub will span 154,215 square metres and include three sites, with sites A and B having:

Film industry hub layout. [Credit: 4D Studio].
Film industry hub layout. [Credit: 4D Studio].
  • 20 sound stages spanning up to 38,000 sqm. 
  • 38,650 sqm of film workshops. 
  • Production support offices. 
  • Two hub buildings for hospitality and administration provisions. 
  • Multi-storey car park on each site. 
  • Refurbishment of the Pallion Quay Building into a technical academy for post-production work. 

Site C will deliver the ‘Vendors Village’, which will support external companies in equipment rental, set construction, wardrobe, and a 245-space surface car park.


FullwellCain expects the studio to generate £759 million per year for the economy, with £336 million for the North East. 

Regarding labour, the JV aims to bring in around 2,000 film-related jobs on-site, with 8,450 jobs in the region and 20,970 in the UK overall.


FullwellCain is working with the following firms on the scheme: 

  • Turner & Townsend. 
  • SYSTRA. 
  • Hydrock. 
  • Wardell Armstrong. 
  • Southern Green. 
  • DWS. 
  • DWP. 

Next steps

Residents in Sunderland can submit feedback on the plans by 30 June, and FullwellCain will present a full planning application in late Summer 2023. 

Fullwell73 was approached for further information.

If you found this story interesting, check out Mace’s starting £440m Manchester Airport expansion.

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