Council pumps £14m into TV complex

Manchester City Council has approved a £14m investment package for the 90,000 sq ft extension of TV production facilities at The Space Project in West Gorton, east Manchester. Subject to planning, the production centre will double in size by 2017.

Proposals include the construction of 90,000 sq ft of new buildings for production and related activities including a 30,000 sq ft stage, more than 6,000 sq ft of offices and green rooms, 10,000 sq ft for set construction workshops and a further 40,000 sq ft of business units for the TV production supply chain across the 17-acre site.

Susan Woodward, founder of The Space Project, said: “Demand for production space is growing rapidly. Building Phase 2 will help satisfy current and future demand and importantly allow us to accommodate essential supply chain businesses in a production hub which will develop local job opportunities and drive further growth in the sector.”

Cllr Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The delivery of this next phase will ensure that Manchester and The Space Project stay ahead of the curve against competing facilities, which will enable us to capture future opportunities to locate TV and drama productions in greater Manchester. This will help create a further 275 jobs and boost the local economy by nearly £10m a year.”

The adjacent site, the Armstrong Mill complex, was bought by the city council in 2014 and demolition is due to be completed this month. The site will then be incorporated within the boundary of The Space Project creating a secure complex for production.

The Space Project opened in October 2014 and was funded from the European Regional Development Fund, the Homes & Communities Agency and Manchester City Council. In its first year it has attracted all major UK producers. Clients include BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Sony Big Talk and Tiger Aspect.

Manchester-based PRP architects, who designed The Sharp Project and The Space Project, have been appointed as architects on this new scheme.

The £14m investment in The Space Project consists of £8m funded through prudential borrowing that will be repaid to the city council and £6m that is a one-off investment by the council from the Capital Fund.

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