Fri 3 October 2014
Susan Woodward OBE, FRSA, Founder of The Sharp Project said: “It is fantastic for The Sharp Project to be recognised internationally. The team here have worked very hard make turn a vision in to reality. They curated a critical mass of digital and creative start-up companies enabling us to prototype a new way of supporting businesses. At the heart of that was our belief that our tenants success comes from collaborating as well as competing. This unique, defining feature of the Project allowed us to create a business environment that stimulates growth in a sector identified by Manchester as key to the growth of the economy.”
Formerly the European distribution centre for Sharp Electronics, The Sharp Project is now a digital media production hub located in East Manchester. It is the full time home to 54 digital companies and accommodates network Dramas for all the main UK TV companies as well as providing the flexible and affordable office, studio and workshop space required by start ups, micro businesses and SMEs, which form the backbone of the creative and digital sector.
The Sharp Project’s model is based on a well-defined proposition to bring together space, connectivity, power and people, enabling the convergence of assets and talent to create digital content in Manchester for a global market. The strategic aim of The Sharp Project is to: ‘reduce barriers that prevent creative and digital businesses from growing, creating work and generating wealth.’ The Sharp Project also has a strong focus on developing a balanced ecosystem which supports growth, as companies collaborate as well as compete with each other for business.
The Sharp Project is Manchester City Council’s flagship initiative to support the development of the City’s digital sector. It represents a multi million pound investment by the Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The investment recognised the growth potential of the sector in Manchester, and in particular the opportunity to create jobs and career opportunities.
The building was completed in June 2011, having received £10.7m of funding between 2009 and 2011. The Sharp Project subsequently has plans for expansion through further phases notably with proposals for a Drama Hub at West Gorton.