New East Manchester is welcoming its first tenants to the Sharp Project in Newton Heath, east Manchester. A total of 11 digital, media and creative companies, including ABF Pictures, Red Handed Cameras Ltd and Project:Simply, are occupying space in some of the brand new converted shipping containers now in position in part of the 200,000 sq ft digital content complex which is due to be completed this Autumn.
Providing affordable business space for small, creative companies, the containers can be rented for as little as £40 a week for a single (160 sq ft) and £75 for a double (320 sq ft) which includes a service charge and business rates. The glass-fronted unfurnished units come complete with power sockets and broadband connection.
Sue Woodward OBE, Director for the Sharp Project said: “The Sharp Project has been extremely well received by the sector and we’ve had a tremendous amount of interest just through word of mouth, with very little marketing. The shipping containers are part of our affordable and flexible ‘easy in, easy out’ philosophy. The modular design is perfect for maximising space, look great and are really popular as so cost effective. It’s fantastic to see a new community starting to emerge.”
Eddie Smith, New East Manchester’s chief executive said: “New East Manchester is proud to be delivering a building that will offer a world-class infrastructure for digital companies with a unique ability to tap into incredibly fast broadband connectivity starting at 1GB which, until now, was unheard of. We have the potential to help up to 85 digital businesses and eventually create 550 jobs in the digital sector here in east Manchester. The level of interest in the building reflects the latent demand for this kind of affordable workspace which is clearly responding to the needs of young, dynamic companies and provides an ideal environment for collaborative working.”
In total the Sharp Project offers 15, 000 sq ft of office space in addition to sound stages, production space, a music studio and a ‘winter garden’ communal space.
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.
Source: New East Manchester