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£1.5m Foundry Film Studios open in Salford

foundry film








Doors have opened at the new £1.5 million Foundry Film Studios in Salford.

The 8,000-square foot purpose-built venue on Ordsall Lane has been designed for the creation of TV and advertising content, as well as photo shoots and events.

Its 10-strong staff is being led by managing director James Shannon, who is 28, and 23-year-old Madeline Penfold.

Shannon said: “Our combined ambition was to create a space which is ultimately an artistic hub and where collaboration is at the core.

“We wanted to make it feel like a home-from-home environment and develop an alternative to the cold, un-welcoming feeling that is so often found in a lifeless empty studio.

“We have built a space where traditional workflows can be broken and a place where we can continually adapt to the needs of our clients. The TV industry has evolved and boundaries are constantly being pushed.

“Experience, process and technology are very much a focus of the Foundry Studios and being able to work with our clients across the world offering them an immersive live experience is second to none.”

Foundry Studios is home to two expansive studios, with one containing one of the largest infinity coves in the northwest.

There are also edit facilities, dressing rooms, creative breakout areas, a mezzanine platform, bar area and its own in-house collective of directors, producers and editors.

Foundry Studios’ in-house team is already working with fashion and retail clients producing content for TV and online.


MediaCity UK set to double in size

Salford council have approved plans to double the size of MediaCity UK with 10 new buildings worth up to £1billion to be built.

mediacity1Phase two of MediaCity UK development includes: 540,000sq ft of offices, 1,800 apartments, retail and leisure units, public spaces and a pedestrian promenade.

MediaCity UK is a joint venture between Peel Land and Property and Legal and General Capital who are committed to the expansion of the digital and tech hub which already houses 250 businesses including the BBC and ITV.

Steven Underwood, chief executive of The Peel Group, said: ‘This application is another major step forward in the evolution of MediaCityUK. “Our partnership with Legal and General Capital, alongside continued support from the public sector, provides a strong platform to deliver future development phases of the UK’s fastest growing hub for the creative and digital industries.

“MediaCityUK is a shining example of what can be achieved across the Northern Powerhouse, combining the talents of great people with ambition and vision.”

Paul Stanworth, managing director, Legal and General Capital, said: ‘Urban regeneration of the scale being delivered at MediaCityUK has the ability to make a sizeable economic impact, both locally and nationally.

“Legal and General Capital saw this potential when we invested in the project last year and are excited to be working with The Peel Group together with key partners to put forward plans for the second phase.

“We hope to deliver much-needed homes, hubs for businesses and new retail, leisure and public spaces for residents, workers and visitors to enjoy.”

Development at MediaCityUK continues apace with the new Tomorrow building coming on stream during the summer and The Lightbox apartment block due to commence construction in early 2017.

Stephen Wild, managing director, MediaCityUK, said: “We pride ourselves on having created much-loved buildings such as The Pie Factory and The Greenhouse.

“Phase two will provide a unique opportunity for a new generation of designs to complement what is already a thriving and vibrant destination.

“Like any city, we continue to grow in line with the needs of business – today’s plans show the huge potential for the MediaCityUK of 2026.”

Manchester Aiport celebrates freight growth

Man Air


The 2015/16 financial year has been Manchester Airport’s best year in freight exports since 2011.

Figures released by Manchester Airport have revealed that over 100,000 tonnes of cargo were shipped through Manchester to destinations across the globe.

Manchester Airport’s growing links in the Middle East has resulted in over 50,000 tonnes of freight being shipped to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar as Manchester is emerging as a centre for e-commerce due to the rise of Amazon Prime, Alibaba and Net-a-Porter.

Since the launch of the Cathay Pacific direct flight to Hong Kong in December 2014 the route has become important for exports from Manchester. Hong Kong and Singapore now receives nearly 12,000 tonnes of cargo from Manchester Airport.

Ken O’Toole, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “Manchester Airport plays an important role in connecting the North of England to key markets around the world.

“Many of our long-haul routes are not available from any airport outside of London and these figures demonstrate how these services do not just offer more choice for leisure passengers, they deliver direct trade benefits to the region.

“This underlines the airport’s role as a key enabler of growth and we expect the launch of more long-haul new services to the likes of Beijing, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco to drive up export volumes in the coming months and years.”

Microsoft’s Bing opens new Manchester office

Manchester is to welcome another tech giant to the city as Microsoft announce plans to open an office for Bing Ads. Manchester

Bing currently has a 17% share of the search engine market, second only to Google, but is expecting a period of sustained growth following the success of Windows 10. Google have been dominant in the search engine market but Aaron McGrath, sales director at Bing Ads, claims that they are in for the “long haul” in order to challenge Google. Since Bing has become the default search engine for Cortana, the Windows 10 personal assistant, the company has increased focus into improving the quality of results whilst enabling users to perform more natural searches across all devices and services. McGrath said that the new Manchester office considers itself as a “challenger brand” in the search engine market and the environment in Manchester plays into this belief. “One of the things when we came to Manchester is the spirit of challenging,” he added. “We wanted to tap into some of that creativity and innovation and really learn from it. We see as ourselves as a learning organisation and we want to partner with agencies and learn from them.” For more information go to

FutureEverything Flies The Flag For Manchester At Global Smart Cities Summit

Drew Hemment joins UK trade mission to Pacific Asia as official Manchester Export Champion

Drew Hemment Taiwan Smart Cities Summit2

FutureEverything’s Drew Hemment, Vice Premier of Taiwan Woody Duh and Deputy Mayor of Taipei, Ching-rong LIN

Innovation lab and digital culture festival FutureEverything are flying the Smart Cities flag for Manchester this week in Taiwan as part of the global Smart City Summit in Taipei.

Drew Hemment, founder and Creative Director of FutureEverything, is speaking at the event, and will be delivering two conference talks on how cities can be creative and liveable as well as smart, and how creativity and grassroots innovation can contribute positively to the development of Smart Cities.

Drew will share FutureEverything’s trademark creative and citizen centred approach, recently endorsed by the Singapore Government, which contrasts with the more accepted model of a centralised, top-down approach to large scale Smart City initiatives and investment programmes.

While visiting Taiwan, Drew, who was recently appointed an official Export Champion for UKTI, is also taking part in a major UK trade mission to Asia-Pacific. This follows on from his role on the Northern Powerhouse mission to Singapore and Malaysia last July, where FutureEverything was praised in a speech by David Cameron as a shining example of how Manchester is exporting creative talent and skills to key international markets.

It also comes after FutureEverything Singapore, which took place last October, marking the island-state’s 50th anniversary. Over 200,000 Singaporeans and visiting tourists were exposed to the festival.

Drew’s insights being shared with delegate in Taiwan are drawn from over 20 years of working within the digital sphere, including FutureEverything’s internationally recognised digital culture festival and conference.

Hemment said:  “Our involvement in the Northern Powerhouse mission to Singapore last year proved to be incredibly valuable. Working with the Singapore Government and with the help of UK British agencies such as the Foreign Office, UKTI, British Council and Chamber of Commerce , we were able to deliver a milestone digital culture festival and conference, reaching tens of thousands of Singaporeans.

“We hope that the Taiwan mission will extend our presence in the region. Taipei has been awarded World Design Capital status, so we feel FutureEverything has a lot to offer with its unique art and design led approach to citizen focussed smart cities.

“It’s only a week to go before we host the annual FutureEverything festival in Manchester, so as well as flying the flag for the North West in Asia there remains plenty of project commitments and festival production underway at FutureEverything HQ on Manchester Science Park.”

“This year’s festival theme ‘Less and More’, looks at how we can rethink resources in a rapidly changing world. Manchester’s recognition as European City Of Science makes this year’s FutureEverything theme a timely one. Festival delegates will learn from experts in areas as diverse as artificial intelligence and lab-grown meat, whilst our focus on digital culture remains as strong as ever. The ideas we share explore the bleeding edge of science and technology through the lens of art, design and participation, which helps us to humanise the challenges posed by new developments. We are also honoured to be joined by Claire Braithwaite, Technology Advisor to Manchester Growth Company, and Manchester’s own Lemn Sissay MBE, who be joining us to reflect on the diverse topics in the conference.”

For details of this year’s FutureEverything Festival visit

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