Sharp Project hits 75% occupancy

East Manchester media centre The Sharp Project has signed nine new tenants taking the total to 50.

Management at the centre, led by Sue Woodward, see this as an important milestone with 75% of the office units now let.

The building, a former Sharp Electronics warehouse on Oldham Road, has 66 office units covering 31,000 sq ft. Of these 26 are made from converted shipping containers.

New occupiers include The Zood, Made in Manchester – which has moved from Peel's Pie Factory – Digital Cools, Social Surf Online, Will Yapp, ELP (Elstree Light and Power), Dig Marketing, Paramount Media and Vibe Republic.

There is now a waiting list for the shipping containers which cost £50 a week. Office space start at £16.50/sq ft, including £6 of service charges, rising to £18.50.

Dig Marketing founder Tim Bilsborough formed the company three months ago with business partner Gabrielle O'Hare.

He said: "Having such a diverse range of digital companies literally outside our door is fantastic and made our decision to move here an easy one. We love the niche entrepreneurial spirit that has been created and want to pull on the resources right here all under this roof and offer our clients a truly unique service.

"We're in the business of selling tailored ideas to companies, particularly in the retail sector, and we know we can find people within the building that can make the ideas happen."

The Sharp Project's general manager Rose Marley said: "This clearly demonstrates that the digital and creative media sector is flourishing here in the North West despite the current economic downturn. There has never been a more exciting time to work in this field with so many opportunities available to small digital businesses and young start-ups."

The 250,000 sq ft centre was established in 2009 with £16.5m from Manchester City Council, the European Regional Development Fund and the North West Development Agency. Woodward and her team have spent the past three years converting the space which also has three sound stages, a recording studio and an area for a planned data centre.

Eddie Smith, chief executive for New East Manchester which has overseen the centre on behalf of landlords Manchester City Council, said: "We've delivered a fantastic environment for young digital start-ups and the amount of interest in our facilities is testament to this. Having reached a 75% occupancy rate on the office units is great news."

Your Comments

Subscribe to our newsletter