The name for the UK’s newest drama production hub based in Manchester has been announced. The 360,000 sq ft site is to be called The Space Project, reflecting the amount of space on offer, which will include 55,000 sq ft of dedicated studio space split into five purpose built, sound-proofed production stages.
The visual identity has been developed by The Sharp Project team, Alistair Weir at PRP Architects and graphic designer Malcolm Garrett, The Space Project will have its own logo, yet sit within the branding already created for The Sharp Project. Retaining the same style, the logo will again represent the building footprint.
Commenting on the branding Malcolm Garrett said: “There is a built-in graphic flexibility that allows for current and future expansion of the ‘Project’ family. The Space Project has its own distinct brand mark, but by using type and colours in the same way it will be instantly recognisable as part of a bigger story.”
The site in West Gorton, which is ten minutes from Manchester city centre, is due to open in May this year. In addition to the production space the building will house construction workshops, prop stores, and flexible office space for short and long term production rentals. Five new entry level roles will be created via the SharpFutures talent pool and, when fully let; up to 500 people will be employed on site by production companies and tenants.
With four stages at 11,500 sq ft and a fifth of 9,000 sq ft with a large infinity cove they are all air-conditioned, acoustically treated for sound separation, and enhanced reverberation and acoustic performance, fitted with lighting rigs with I beams, 1GB fibre internet with 36 wireless access points, secure overnight parking and designated hair and make-up facilities.
Dedicated support space directly adjacent to each of the stages will include a full suite of dressing rooms, shower facilities and an onsite laundry, as well as extensive flexible support space providing tenants with conveniently located production offices. The 10,000 sq. ft. prop shop situated adjacent to the rear stages is linked to the stage via an extensive canopy, so sets / props can be transferred with ease, not subject to weather.
24/7 security, a purpose built canteen, landscaped outdoor amenity, screening and conference rooms will provide the finishing touches to a development designed to give production companies access to extensive space options, combined with an intelligently planned support infrastructure benefitting from a highly competitive rate card.
The Space Project has been devised by Sue Woodward OBE, Project Director at The Sharp Project, who continues to oversee all aspects of construction, management and delivery. Commenting on the new development she said: “It’s important for the region’s economy to capitalise on the UK’s expanding drama production sector which, in part, is driven by tax breaks introduced by the Government last April 2013. The Space Project creates a new offer for the North of England that will generate interest from producers and broadcasters both in the UK and overseas. With so much high spec production and back stage space available it seemed fitting to call the building The Space Project. To have a purpose built drama stage complex in Manchester is very exciting and will help satisfy the relentless demand for such facilities here in the UK.”
The drama facility is part of Manchester City Council’s creative digital asset base that has been created following the success of The Sharp Project. Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “Just a ten minute drive from its sister site on Oldham Road, The Space Project will add to Manchester’s creative digital portfolio and provide an important addition to the successful production facilities at The Sharp Project. The new site will create employment opportunities in the sector for local people.”
Manchester based firm PRP Architects, who designed The Sharp Project, has been commissioned again for The Space Project. The building contractor is Willmott Dixon and Project Management is being delivered by MACE with Turner Townsend overseeing finance.
The Space Project holding page has been created by The Drawing Room
Public Sector Partners:
The drama facility is part of Manchester City Council’s digital asset base that has been created following the success of The Sharp Project. Manchester City Council is funding the drama facility in conjunction with the following agencies:
The drama hub project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
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The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England, and the Regulator of Social Housing Providers. Through the Economic Assets Programme, which aims to support local economic growth and regeneration for local communities, HCA funding of £500,000 has been provided for enabling works at the new drama production site..