The Sharp Project contributes £32 million to local economy
Findings of a new independent report commissioned by Manchester City Council to examine the economic impact of The Sharp Project in east Manchester, highlight the creative and tech hub’s continued growth. The report reveals the number of (full time equivalent) jobs has increased in the last two years by 57% from 205 to almost 480. Also since 2013 the GVA has also increased by 52.3% from £21.4m to £32.6m.
Compiled by Manchester based specialist economic development and regeneration consultancy Ekosgen, the report details how The Sharp Project, which now houses 60 creative digital businesses, has developed since the last impact assessment analysis was published in 2013.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “To see evidence that on-site employment and associated GVA has continued to grow significantly since it was last assessed in 2013 is no surprise. The Sharp Project has become an established hub for micro businesses in the creative and tech field, further strengthening the sector and playing a crucial role in achieving the City’s digital ambition.”
Rose Marley, Chief Operating Officer at The Sharp Project said: “Having like-minded companies under one roof is the key to our success. The environment fosters new partnerships and opportunities to explore alternative areas of work. The levels of collaborative work are phenomenal and demonstrate that our strategy is working and business and the economy are benefiting as a result.”
In 2011, when The Sharp Project was completed, digital industries accounted for 45,776 jobs in Greater Manchester and generated £2bn of economic output per year. The sector has now around 57,000 employees in Manchester alone according to a report commissioned by MIDAS last year, and the city is recognised as the UK’s second for the digital sector after London. The Sharp Project, MediaCityUK and the associated development are each highlighted as drivers.
The report states that locating at The Sharp Project is believed by many to have contributed to strong performance. The research showed encouraging growth with 100% of tenants having increased their productivity, 92% experiencing an increase in turnover from within the North West, 85% experiencing an increase in turnover from other areas, 77% gained customers or clients at The Sharp project, 77% have developed new products or services and 42% have started trading internationally.
The report also reveals initial findings of the sister site, The Space Project, which opened in November 2014 as a drama hub for TV and film production. The facility has already supported the creation of more than 12 full time jobs a GVA of half a million pounds through direct employment and tenant business growth. The regular programme of production activity supports a further 250 jobs on site with an associated GVA benefit of £9 million.
View the full report: Evaluation Report by Ekosgen [Download Here]
Photography by Aaron Rooms | SharpFutures