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New 360,000 sq. ft. ‘Drama Hub’ to drive next wave of production outside London

New 360,000 sq. ft. ‘Drama Hub’ to drive next wave of production outside London

Posted 25th Oct 2013 at 10:42 by Tom Clarke

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3D of new site

Manchester’s thriving TV production base, home to some of the UK’s most innovative digital pioneers, has today announced full details of a major new drama production hub in Greater Manchester. The 360,000 sq. ft. site in Gorton will become home to over 50,000 sq. ft. of production space spread across five high spec stages, along with a support infrastructure including construction workshops, prop stores, and flexible office space for short and long term production rentals.

Preparing to open its doors from May 2014, the new site will provide an important addition to the successful production facilities at The Sharp Project, Manchester’s iconic home to digital entrepreneurs, SMEs and content producers. Since opening in July 2011, demand for the existing site’s 50,000 sq. ft. of production space spread across four stages from 3,700 sq. ft.to 28,000 sq. ft. has already exceeded availability and capacity. Already home to three series of Channel 4’s hit comedy Fresh Meat and Sky Living HD’s Mount Pleasant, along with productions including BBC1’s Casualty 1909 and ITV’s The Making Of A Lady, The Sharp Project has  proved to be a sought after destination for production companies including Tiger Aspect, Objective and the BBC.

THE SHARP PROJECT NEW SITE still smaller
CGI of new site

With space ranging from 8,890 sq. ft. to 11,190 sq. ft. (see table below for full details) each of the five stages will include: air-conditioning, acoustic treatment for sound separation, enhanced reverberation and acoustic performance, lighting rigs with I beam, 1GB fibre internet with 36 wireless access points, secure overnight parking and designated hair & 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 8,000 sq. ft. construction workshop situated next to the loading area will benefit from an extensive canopy, protecting valuable set items from being exposed to the elements.

STAGE SQ. FT. HEIGHT (m) DIMENSIONS(L x W)
01 11,194 9.15 42.8 m x 24.7 m
02 10,634 9.15 40.8 m x 24.5 m
03 10,128 6.6 32 m x 29.9 m
04 10,128 6.6 32 m x 29.9 m
05 8,891 6.6 30 m x 28.2 m

24/7 security, a purpose built canteen, landscaped outdoor amenity area and screening room 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 cost scale.

The Sharp Project from The Drawing Room on Vimeo.

The new development was devised by Sue Woodward OBE, Project Director at The Sharp Project, who continues to oversee all aspects of construction, management and delivery. The drama facility is part of Manchester City Council’s digital asset base that has been created following the success of The Sharp Project, with award-winning PRP Architects, the company behind the design of the original building, responsible for the architectural design of the new development.

 Sue Woodward, Project Director at The Sharp Project and the new site development, said: “Demand has grown for space since we opened the stages at the Sharp Project, to the extent that we have had to repeatedly turn productions away. This, coupled with the tax incentive programme, made a sound business case for investment. Production companies know that we go that extra mile to help them make great content and it is this attitude towards our clients, backed by great talent across the North, which is already driving huge interest in the new site, even before the steel is in the ground.”

Jenny Hay, Production Executive, Comedy at Objective Productions, commented on the plans for the new development saying: “We couldn’t have been happier with our home here at The Sharp Project for the past three series of Fresh Meat, and everything the facility and its first rate team have been able to provide. It’s a top quality space and we’ll certainly be amongst the first to consider the new drama hub for any future productions.”

For more information on the new site and to discuss bookings, please email enquiries@thesharpproject.co.uk or call 0161 205 5508.

Further details on the site can be found here along with a video overview created by The Drawing Room, tenants at The Sharp Project, here.

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The drama hub project is part financed by the North West Competitiveness and Employment Operational Programme 2007 – 2013 European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department forCommunities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European RegionalDevelopment 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. For more information visit this site.

The Sharp Project
Thorp Road
Manchester
M40 5BJ
United Kingdom