If there’s one thing that’s really put Birmingham on the map, it’s Peaky Blinders. Created by legendary screenwriter Steven Knight, the iconic BBC series starring Cillian Murphy breathed new life into the city, turning it into a tourist destination in its own right (and not just for having the world’s biggest Primark…). But it seems Knight isn’t quite stopping there.
On a mission to make Birmingham a hotspot for creativity, Birmingham City Council has announced that a brand new film studio will open in Digbeth – spearheaded by Steven Knight himself.
Set to open this summer, Digbeth Loc Studios mark the first centre of its kind for film production, and will boast 80,000 sq ft comprising three film studios, production offices and construction workshops.
The state-of-the-art studio is set to have a successful start, too, with the Peaky Blinders movie, upcoming BBC drama This Town and more committed to filming at the studio. The landmark project will see a number of abandoned Victorian buildings converted into the state-of-the-art studio, and will make up part of Birmingham’s Creative Quarter.
Steven Knight CBE, who hails from Walsall, said: “It’s so exciting that this day has come and after a lot of hard work by lots of people at Homes England, Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority.
“Our plans are ambitious and we will be making TV and movies on an international scale.
“We are planting an industry in the fertile soil of Birmingham and we need local people to make it happen. We have structures in place to begin the business of training local people in the skills needed and we want people to know that this is a viable industry that is here to stay.
“We’re setting up in the heart of, what was once, Peaky Blinders country and it’s very fitting that we are bringing it all back home.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer, said: “Given the BBC’s commitment to grow production capability in Birmingham – it’s great to see the plans for Digbeth as the city’s Creative Quarter come to fruition.
“With the BBC HQ moving to the Tea Factory, MasterChef moving into the old Banana Warehouse, and now the Bond and Digbeth Loc. Studios opening – it’s a very exciting time for film and programme makers in the region.”
The highly anticipated Peaky Blinders movie filming at the studios will star Cillian Murphy in his iconic role of Tommy Shelby, and is expected to pick up where we left off after the BBC series’ dramatic conclusion. The series finale saw Tommy finally realise he had been spectacularly deceived by fascist politician Oswald Mosley (played by Sam Claflin), teasing a huge war to come between the pair.
The film is currently slated for release in 2024, and is expected to bring closure to the beloved series. Steven Knight has, however, teased that spin-off stories are a possibility for his Peaky Blinders universe.
Digbeth Loc Studios is expected to be complete July 15th 2023, with its first on-site filming taking place this October.