The North West has a long-standing TV industry, built around independent drama production and of course, Granada Studios as the northern home of television production, where some of the country’s biggest shows have been produced over the years, writes Melanie Jones of Allied London.
The offering to the industry has grown considerably in the last decade with the development of Media City in Salford attracting significant teams from the BBC, as well as the complimentary locations of Space Project and Sharp Project around the city which have expanded and grown due to demand.
Allied London established All Studios in 2016 and have been operating a TV and film offering from the existing assets we acquired as part of Granada Studios’ estate, as an alternative to the previous ‘events’ use. By 2017, demand for the facility and our network within the industry, regionally and nationally, had grown considerably, and we hosted productions from BBC, Amazon, Netflix and Sky.
The demand for studios in Manchester has complemented our vision for Enterprise City, creating a media, tech and creative cluster for modern industry. With infrastructure investment, to refine our offering from ‘meanwhile use’ to a fully functioning studio operation, and lettings to companies such as The Farm Group, we’re in a good position to create a new city centre media hub.
The demand has also led to the development of assets such as ABC, formerly Astley & Byrom House, which provide prime city centre space for media companies, who want to locate close to the studios and be part of an exciting new cluster for Manchester. However, it’s not just Manchester that is seeing growth, we’re also excited to see how Channel 4 develop in Leeds, which comes at an exciting time as Allied London continue to re-invest in Leeds Dock and further its reputation for media, tech and culture.
Over recent years several large studio facilities have closed across the country, especially in London, such as Fountain Studios and The London Studios. Most notably, the new Television Centre at White City has been successful in bringing in customers like the core daytime ITV programmes that moved from The London Studios. These changes to the availability of studio locations at the heart of production in the UK has pushed mainstream TV shows away from the capital.
Manchester is now the UK’s second busiest production location in the UK, with over 600 productions having been based here over the last three years. It’s stats like these and the attractive subsidies for companies that provide a unique opportunity for All Studios to further the North as an international media destination.
With London facilities closing while television and film production in the UK reaches some of the highest ever levels – due in part to demand viewing and streaming – the potential for growth in the North is considerable.