PLANS have been submitted to build a major film and TV production studio in the region, capable of housing large-scale productions for the small screen and cinema.

If approved by a council planning committee, The Northern Studios would span 30,000sq ft across a site in Hartlepool to become the first production facility of its kind in the North-East.

A planning application for the studios has been submitted by The Northern School of Art – formerly the Cleveland College of Art and Design – in a bid to develop a 'creative district' in the area.

The plans for The Northern Studios include a flexible commercial sound stage for TV and features production, a green screen and smaller studio for special effects and corporate filming, as well as a training studio for students.

The site will also incorporate large workshop spaces with industrial scale 3D scanning and printing facilities, alongside offices, parking, and a café and visitor centre for use by commercial crew, visitors and schools.

The site will support specialist technical training for undergraduates studying degree programmes at the Hartlepool institution.

Pat Chapman, vice principal at The Northern School of Art, said: “This is an exciting time for Hartlepool as we see investment in the regeneration and future of the town – this development can underpin not just local, but regional growth and prosperity.

“We have so many reasons why we should seize this opportunity – a shortage of commercial studio space due to the massive growth in the UK screen industry which means that the UK is missing out on opportunities and an increase in location filming in the area for which we can provide a more efficient production base.

"All of this alongside a population of talented and skilled graduates with the technical and specialist skills required by the screen industries.

“In other parts of the UK we have seen how a studio facility becomes a focus for the establishment of new businesses – not just creative ones but suppliers and service companies."

The application is expected to be considered by Hartlepool Borough Council planning application committee members in the coming months.