Published: 16 December 2015

Liverpool takes centre stage for Harry Potter return


School of the Arts student, Dean Lockley, investigates Liverpool’s role in the much-anticipated magical return of Harry Potter’s wizarding world.

“The film trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated feature film has just been released – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The all-new adventure is set in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling in her best-selling Harry Potter books, which were adapted into the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

The announcement that Fantastic Beasts was being shot in Liverpool, the only non-studio location to be used, has resulted in a real buzz and demonstrates that the city has a significant reputation as one of the most filmed cities outside London.

This is not the first time that Liverpool has taken centre stage for a film of this caliber; many films are shot in and around Liverpool, even on the University’s own campus! In addition to the many movies filmed here, scenes from a previous Harry Potter film was shot in the city’s Mersey Tunnel, showing that Fantastic Beasts is not just a one off or a rare event.

Dr Julia Hallam, who led the University of Liverpool’s ‘City in Film’ project, which documented more than 1000 film pieces shot in the city, said: “Liverpool offers a wealth of locations, due to its unique architecture.  It has more listed buildings than any UK city outside London; its waterfront; beaches at New Brighton and Formby; its racetrack at Aintree; its tunnels; and wealth of large Georgian mansions and houses; as well as its many parks, makes it a highly attractive offer for film makers.”

Filming here is great for the city, providing jobs in security, production, catering and may others. In addition, it provides extra tourism revenue, attracting people to the area to see film locations and sites where major Hollywood stars have lived and worked.

Dr Hallam added: “This trend will continue. A new film studio is being built in the old Littlewoods offices on Edge Lane, itself a listed building, and along with the well-established Film Office that enables shooting to progress smoothly, the city will remain a highly attractive location.”

Along with the city, the University campus has also been used for film and TV locations.  These include Casualty 1906, where the Waterhouse Building and Victoria Building were used to shoot two whole series of the historical drama; the 2016 season of Peaky Blinders; the new Poliakoff post-war-time drama, Close to the Enemy; Who Do you Think You Are?; and the BBC’s period drama, Lilies.

Former Top Gear presenter, James May, chose the University for his Toy Stories series, where he tasked University of Liverpool student engineers with building a bridge across the canal link at Liverpool Docks.

To see some of the best Liverpool film location shoots, check out this link: some of them may surprise you!

For a full list films made in the city please visit:

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2 thoughts on “Liverpool takes centre stage for Harry Potter return

    1. Joanna (Administrator) Post author

      Peaky Blinders was filmed on the North campus, around the Waterhouse Building

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