Three new companies move in as Sharp Project confirms Phase 2 is fully let

Three new companies move in as Sharp Project confirms Phase 2 is fully let

Posted 20th Sep 2010 at 09:33 by Tom Clarke

Three new tenants, Barefoot VFX, HG Films and Sizzle Media have moved into Phase 2 of the Sharp Project, joining 20 other companies based in converted shipping containers. Having taken the last few container office units, urban regeneration company New East Manchester announced today (Monday 20 September) that this part of the 200,000 sq ft digital content production complex in Newton Heath, East Manchester is now fully let.

Sue Woodward OBE, Director for the Sharp Project said:

“It’s great to see this phase fully let and companies settling in.  There’s now a real buzz in the building and the tenants are forming a flourishing business community. The Phase 1 office block is also filling up fast and our three sound stages are available for use. We’re also making good progress on the other phases which will offer a music studio and a ‘winter garden’ communal space.”

Steve Thorncroft, Deputy Chief Executive of New East Manchester who are delivering the project on behalf of Manchester City Council, is equally excited:

“To have filled this phase before the building work is complete is excellent news and clearly demonstrates there is a high demand for affordable office accommodation in this sector. The Sharp Project is offering a unique hub for both start-ups and established digital and creative companies who want to take advantage of the super-fast broadband connectivity that we have here.”

New tenant, JP Hersey from visual effects company HG Films, who have been working on the rebranding of Coronation Street, said:

“We’re really pleased to be part of the Sharp Project. It’s this sort of business model that we believe is the future for the media industry. Rather than one oversized company with huge overheads, what we have here is a bunch of smaller, more flexible and responsive companies that offer a huge range of skill sets and talent under one roof, so we can expand or retract to respond to the project’s needs. That’s what’s exciting about this building.”

Dave Fothergill, Head of 3D at visual effects company, Barefoot VFX, which has taken a double shipping container said:

“We looked at a couple of places when setting up but decided on the Sharp Project simply because it’s got the potential to be something fantastic.  It’s growing into a whole new environment of like-minded people with everyone working together.”

Aftab Ali, Creative Director of web design agency Sizzle Media said:

Sizzle Media Ltd“This kind of creative office space really suits companies like Sizzle Media, and being part of the Sharp Project at this early stage is very exciting. There’s a real buzz about the place there are already several residents we have spoken to about collaborating on projects.”

The former Sharp warehouse is currently undergoing a £16.5 million refurbishment funded by Manchester City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the European Regional Development Fund. Phase 1 was completed in April. The building is located on Thorp Road, off Oldham Road and next to Central Park’s Gateway transport interchange, which includes a Metrolink station, due to open in spring 2011.

For more information on the Sharp Project visit
or for information on New East Manchester visit

For further information contact Roz Hughes at New East Manchester on 0161 223 1155.

Notes to editors

New East Manchester (NEM) is an Urban Regeneration Company – a partnership between Manchester City Council, the national housing and regeneration agency Homes & Communities Agency and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).  It is NEM’s role to turn the Regeneration Framework into action, secure the required public and private funding, led on specific major development projects and co-ordinate regeneration and renewal initiatives in the area.

The Sharp Project is in a refurbished Sharp Electronics warehouse off Oldham Road in Newton Heath, east Manchester. It is a new type of digital content production complex which creates a unique hub for digital and creative businesses. This not-for-profit initiative, led by urban regeneration company, New East Manchester on behalf of site owners Manchester City Council, provides a new environment for Manchester’s raw, young start-ups and established professionals in the digital and creative sector. The building offers 200,000 sq ft of flexible and affordable workspace, sound stages, and social interactive space in an innovative environment with affordable fast connectivity starting at 1GB. It is open 24/7 with links to global partners able to deliver a ‘chase the sun’ Virtual Super Studio, 24 hour continuous production circuit for international projects. for more details.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the Northwest. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.

ERDF in the Northwest is managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

For further information please visit

The Sharp Project
Thorp Road
M40 5BJ
United Kingdom