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 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 said: “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 over sized company with huge over-heads, 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: “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 the Sharp Project
Source: New East Manchester