AppLearn signs green screen studio lease creating 150 jobs at The Sharp Project
AppLearn, an existing tenant at The Sharp Project, Manchester’s digital content production complex in east Manchester, has expanded capacity by taking a long lease on half the green screen studios in the new purpose-built suite, creating up to 150 jobs by 2017.
AppLearn, who provide innovative user adoption improvement services for talent and performance management systems, was founded just two years ago in May 2011, and moved into The Sharp Project in February 2012. In addition to leasing the studios, AppLearn is doubling the size of its office accommodation at The Sharp Project, occupying a total of 2, 690 sqft.
The Manchester company exports 97 per cent of its services overseas and has secured major international clients across a range of sectors including telecommunication companies in Canada and the UK; Vancouver based GoldCorp, one of the world’s largest producers of gold; Hudbay Minerals in Canada; UK based M&W, a global engineering and construction company; Canadian train and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier; Ahlstrom, a Finnish high performance materials company and some of the world’s top hotel groups including Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Hong Kong, Intercontinental Hotel Group and Landmark Hotel Group.
The company, which offers a unique software training and communications solution, provides its services to over one million people in 42 countries in 14 languages by producing and hosting bespoke on-line streaming tutorials. Currently employing 15 people, the studios provide the opportunity to increase the size of the workforce ten-fold, employing 150 people over the next four years.
Mark Barlow, founder and chief executive of AppLearn said: “We stream training and communication tutorials to employees and managers situated anywhere around the world, in any language and to any device. We then provide analytical feedback which gives our clients a crucial insight into how their entire workforce is engaging with their talent and performance programmes. Our service is particularly attractive to global companies that have large numbers of employees, across a number of countries, and need to communicate the same messages and deliver consistent training quickly and cheaply in multiple languages. A facility like this at The Sharp Project is essential to allow us to expand so we can meet demand. These studios, the only dedicated fully sound-proofed green screen suite in the UK, will enable us to create training videos on an industrial scale. If we use the studios on a 5 day week, 8 hour day basis, we will be able to create 50,000 training tutorials a year. If this turns into a 24/7 operation then the capacity could double.”
“We were the first company in the world to use streaming videos to train people and I believe within the next 5-10 years, most training will be done this way. We need to remain at the forefront of this sector. Our business couldn’t have expanded the way it has without being based at The Sharp Project. This place is a crucial part of our story and will continue to be so. It’s a remarkable place where the public sector have lent a hand to give companies like us a leg up but done it in a very subtle way so not to smother our entrepreneurial and creative spirit. We’d like to thank The Sharp Project team and the City Council for helping us access a Regional Growth Fund loan to help finance the expansion of our business.” Mark added.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “This is another example of how public investment can stimulate job creation. AppLearn’s story so far is staggering and this is just the beginning for them. If we can help provide facilities to allow companies like AppLearn to grow, the wider benefits to the local economy are far-reaching.”
Sue Woodward OBE, Director of The Sharp Project and Manchester’s Creative Champion said: “This is a fantastic example of the public and private sector working together to help a local company perform on a global stage. AppLearn’s growth has been phenomenal and in two short years they’ve become a world leader in their field and it’s incredible to think it all started here at The Sharp Project. These new green screen studios will complement the other production facilities we have on site and open up exciting opportunities for new and existing tenants in a range of creative disciplines.”
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