A £35m TV and film studio in Liverpool has moved a step closer with finalisation of the purchase of a 350,000 sq m site by property developer Capital & Centric.

Broadcast understands that at least two studio operators based in the south of England are now bidding to lease, buy or manage the site.

This is part of a consultation process by the developer that will determine the studios’ facilities.

Planning permission is still required for a portion of the site, meaning that construction is unlikely to get under way before April 2018, according to Capital & Centric co-founder Tim Heatley.

He said: “We want to work with an operator who can give us market knowledge and operate the studios for us.”

The developer has a 250-year lease with Liverpool City Council to deliver a hub for film, TV and the creative industries on the site of a building previously owned by Littlewoods.

Capital & Centric previously developed The Foundry, a creative industries complex in Manchester.

Claire Poyser, managing director of Liverpool-based indie Lime Pictures, said: “Any four-waller is a tremendously positive move since there is a desperate need for simple infrastructure. However, time is of the essence and we’ve yet to see details of the proposal.”