Sharp Project granted extra £6.3m
The North West Regional Development Agency has announced that it will put £6.3m of additional funding into the Sharp Project, the digital media hub being created at Sharp Electronics’ former European distribution centre fronting Oldham Road in Newton Heath.
The money – £3.3m of which is coming from the NWDA and £3m from European funding – will be used to help create 13,000 sq m of digital business space and help 85 new businesses.
The funding comes on top of the money that Manchester City Council has already invested in buying the building and preparing it for occupiers. The first phase of this is almost complete and it is expected that the first tenants will move into a two-storey office block next month.
The site will eventually contain around 15,000 sq ft of office space, 38,000 sq ft of studios, a 31,000 sq ft production space and 56,000 sq ft of storage and set space areas. The building will also have a fast broadband connection and high-capacity power supply.
Visiting the project today, the Minister for Digital Britain, Stephen Timms MP, said: “This Government wants to build a world-class digital knowledge economy for the UK and it is projects like Sharp which will make this vision a reality,” he said.
The NWDA’s chief executive, Stephen Broomhead, said that Manchester “has long been regarded as the UK’s emerging media city, and has developed a global reputation as a creative powerhouse. Retention of this is critical for the future growth of the creative production sector – the Sharp Project is Manchester’s response.
“Our intention is to support the establishment of a world class digital and content production centre, complement the development of MediaCityUK, increase new businesses and contribute to the regeneration of East Manchester.”
by Michael Fahy