BSKYB Ltd and leading independent television company, Tiger Aspect Productions, have selected The Sharp Project in East Manchester for the filming of the first Sky 1 HD comedy drama, Mount Pleasant.
Mount Pleasant is one of Sky’s first original comedies since the appointment of Lucy Lumsden to Head of Comedy in October 2010. Tiger Aspect, who have made a host of popular TV drama series including Robin Hood (BBC 1), Secret Diary of a Call Girl (ITV 2) and The Deep (BBC 1), have hired two of the four available sound stages, totalling 16,000 sq ft, together with an additional 8,000 sq ft of customised production offices. These are all wireless enabled with a high speed band width and include fully equipped costume, make up, dressing and green rooms and laundry facilities. Filming of the eight 60 minute episodes will start in March with the series being broadcast in the autumn.
The show is based around the life and loves of a thirty-something Mancunian couple and follows the complicated lives of their friends, workmates and ever-present parents. The series is written by Shameless writer Sarah Hooper.
Sue Woodward OBE, Director of The Sharp Project said: “Tiger Aspect is a premier league signing for us. It’s great they chose us for this very northern production. The City has made a considerable investment in The Sharp Project to help further build on the excitement generated by MediaCity:UK. Together we are delivering a rich and wide range of production facilities for companies looking for opportunities outside London”.
The show’s Producer Siobhan Bachman from Tiger Aspect commented: “I’m so pleased that of all the studios in Manchester, we’re filming MOUNT PLEASANT here. It’s terrific to have so much space to grow a hopefully long-running show. The lovely big spaces that we’ve made into dressing rooms, costume and make-up and our production office have made a huge difference and the fact that it’s an eight minute drive from Manchester Piccadilly makes it incredibly convenient. We’ll come back!”
Howard Ella, Line Producer for Tiger Aspect added: “The location of The Sharp Project is ideal for access to the City and all of our locations and allows us to base office and production on one site. Also the large size of the main stage is perfect for housing the four large sets being built in one space. With a large production office and all of our design, costume, make up and artist facilities in the building we have a production model that allows us to meet the demands of a very busy schedule and (hopefully!) deal with the surprises that every big shoot brings.”
Steve Thorncroft, deputy chief executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester said: ”Manchester is open for business for companies like Tiger Aspect and Sky. Having productions like this made here is fantastic for the city and yet again positions us as a first class location for digital production.”
The Sharp Project, based at the former Sharp warehouse less than ten minutes from Manchester city centre is nearing completion. The facility offers a unique mix of space, from office accommodation in converted shipping containers, to offices complete with skylights and mezzanine views over a central campus .The fully glazed ‘Winter Garden’ will also provide around 5,000 sq ft of rehearsal/event space. Two other sounds stages of 4,000 and 28,000 square feet complete the offer.
The Project is funded by Manchester City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the European Regional Development Fund.
Led by urban regeneration company New East Manchester, Bramall Construction is undertaking the construction work on the refurbished building which has been designed by PRP Architects.
Phase 1 was completed in April 2010. 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 this spring.
Source: The Sharp Project