Plans for a major expansion to The Sharp Project, which will see hundreds of new jobs created and a cutting-edge global technology company establish its European headquarters there, have been unveiled.
The proposals build on the success of The Sharp Project, the city’s digital and production complex, and further Manchester’s ambition of becoming a global digital city by 2020.
The proposals, outlined in a report to be considered by Manchester City Council’s Executive on 12 September, comprise:
1. A major global interactive 3D technology company will establish its European base at One Central Park in Central Park, which will be acquired by Manchester City Council, creating at least 240 jobs.
2. A significant expansion of The Sharp Project’s existing building to attract more start-up digital firms. Alongside this will be the creation of a new hi-tech green-screen facility. The Sharp Project is in discussions with a UK firm with a global client base that require a green screen facility and have the potential to expand creating 150 new jobs.
3. The development of the City Council owned former Fujitsu tower in West Gorton into a drama production hub.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “The Sharp Project has been phenomenally successful and we have created a significant digital production hub that can support the development of the City’s digital and production sector and put us firmly on the global map. The potential for further growth is huge and in order to tap into this, we recognise that we need to expand the facilities further to grow local Manchester businesses and also attract major international companies in this sector to Manchester.”
Sue Woodward OBE, Director of The Sharp Project and Manchester’s Creative Media Champion said: “Manchester aims to be a global digital city with a labour pool of companies creating and innovating new business and new business models, to grow the economy, create careers and compete on a wider stage. The Sharp Project is the first space created to begin to deliver this objective. It’s fantastic that Manchester City Council share our vision and recognise it’s a worthy investment. Manchester City Council created The Sharp Project which is unique as it’s led by the sector for the sector. This is the secret of its success.”
Highlighting its success to date, the report states that The Sharp Project is 75 per cent full and had created 287 full time equivalent jobs within the tenancies of the building at the end of its full year of operation.by