Mayor Rotheram’s LCR Production Fund provides boost to second series of award-winning drama Time

Liverpool Film Office can reveal that the second series of multi-award-winning hit drama Time has received investment from Mayor Steve Rotheram’s LCR Production Fund.

This announcement follows the BBC’s release of first-look images of Bella Ramsey, Jodie Whittaker and Tamara Lawrance.

The three actresses in a shot from Time series 2.

Bella Ramsay, Tamara Lawrance and Jodie Whittaker as Kelsey, Abi and Orla in Time series 2. Pic: BBC Studios.

Managed by the Liverpool Film Office, the LCR Production Fund was launched to increase the number, range and scale of productions made in the city region and is supported by £3 million from the Combined Authority through Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Strategic Investment Fund.

So far, the fund has invested £1.8m in seven high-end TV dramas including The Responder, written by former Merseyside Police Officer Tony Schumacher.

In addition to an expected direct return on investment in these projects, the fund has already generated £12m of spending in the city region and led to 402 full time jobs and 34 training places.

This latest wave of investment follows the success of the first instalment of Time, starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, which was the first prime-time production to receive support from Mayor Rotheram’s LCR Production Fund and won the 2022 BAFTA Television award for best mini-series.

Co-written by Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black, the new three-part series will star Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us), Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who), Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins) and Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley) and will follow three female inmates as they navigate their way through prison.

Made by BBC Studios for BBC One and iPlayer, this original story will delve into the world of life inside a woman’s prison with Kelsey (Bella Ramsey), Orla (Jodie Whittaker) and Abi (Tamara Lawrance) arriving at Carlingford Prison on the same day.

The three women are then thrown together to face an unfamiliar world but even with an ever-present threat of violence, the women discover that an unexpected sense of community, and a shared understanding, still may be possible.

The BBC also announced further casting for the show – BAFTA-award winner Sophie Willan (Alma’s Not Normal, Still Open All Hours), alongside Julie Graham (Shetland, Being Eileen), Alicia Forde (Waterloo Road, Ryan Can’t Read), Lisa Millett (The A Word, Robin Hood), Faye McKeever (The Responder, Des), Kayla Meikle (The Capture, The Girl Before), James Corrigan (This Is Going to Hurt, This England), Nicholas Nunn (Clique, SAS Rogue Heroes) and Maimuna Memon (Sherwood, Unforgotten).

The production filmed across Liverpool, Halton, Wirral and Knowsley.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Investments like this one demonstrate the depth of our region’s ambition to stake our claim as the UK’s premier filming location outside of London. Through my LCR Production Fund, we are helping to support incredible productions like Time, The Responder and Help – which in return have helped us to generate millions of pounds in spending for our economy.

“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 Depot – two 22,000 sq ft film and TV studios now open off Liverpool’s Edge Lane – and larger studios in the adjacent Littlewoods building as part of a vision to turn the city region into the ‘Hollywood of the North’.

Head of Liverpool Film Office and Fund Manager, Lynn Saunders said:

“This latest boost for the production fund is fantastic news for the Liverpool City Region especially following on from the award-winning success of the first series of Time.

“By providing investment to productions such as Time, we are having a huge positive impact on the region with £6.54 for every £1 of investment being pushed back into the local economy.

“The fund also provides opportunities for local crew with 34 trainees and 402 full time equivalent jobs being supported by through projects such as this.

“With the addition of The Depot and our expanding Liverpool Film Office team we are now drawing more productions than ever before into the region, allowing us to offer a real wraparound service to those coming to our area to create showstopping television and film.

“I am really excited to see what is to come with the second series of Time and know that we will be seeing even more award nominations to come.”

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle said:

“Thanks to the universal acclaim the first instalment of this drama received, there is a huge amount of anticipation around Time 2 which has once again received vital support from Liverpool Film Office. 

“Even though it’s a common occurrence to have camera crews on our streets pretty much every day of the year, it’s still a thrill to see the city region on the big and small screen, providing stunning backdrops for so many exciting productions.

“The Production Fund has been a huge success story for the city region and as well as helping to create award-winning dramas, it has supported local talent, created jobs, improved skills and had a positive economic impact across the city. And with Scouse legend Jimmy McGovern involved once again in Time, this is sure to be yet another success for the Fund.”

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