BSKYB and independent television company, Tiger Aspect Productions, have selected The Sharp Project digital media centre in east Manchester for the filming of the first Sky 1 HD comedy drama, Mount Pleasant.
Tiger Aspect, the company behind TV drama series including Robin Hood and The Deep on BBC 1, have hired two of the four available sound stages, totalling 16,000 sq ft, together with an additional 8,000 sq ft of customised production offices.
These are all wireless enabled with a high speed band width and include fully equipped costume, make up, dressing and green rooms and laundry facilities. Filming of the eight 60 minute episodes will start in March with the series being broadcast in the autumn.
Sue Woodward, director of The Sharp Project, said: "Tiger Aspect is a premier league signing for us. It's great they chose us for this very northern production. The city has made a considerable investment in The Sharp Project to help further build on the excitement generated by Media City UK. Together we are delivering a rich and wide range of production facilities for companies looking for opportunities outside London."
Howard Ella, line producer for Tiger Aspect, added: "The location of The Sharp Project is ideal for access to the city and all of our locations and allows us to base office and production on one site. Also the large size of the main stage is perfect for housing the four large sets being built in one space. With a large production office and all of our design, costume, make up and artist facilities in the building we have a production model that allows us to meet the demands of a very busy schedule and (hopefully!) deal with the surprises that every big shoot brings."
The Sharp Project is based at the former Sharp warehouse less than ten minutes from Manchester city centre, located on Thorp Road, off Oldham Road and next to Central Park's Gateway transport interchange, which includes a Metrolink station, due to open this spring.
The 200,000 sq ft complex offers a mix of office accommodation in converted shipping containers, to offices complete with skylights and mezzanine views over a central campus.
The first phase was completed in April 2010. The £16.5m refurbishment project is being funded by Manchester City Council, the North West Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund.
The not for profit initiative is being led by urban regeneration company New East Manchester on behalf of site owner Manchester City Council.
Bramall Construction is undertaking the construction work on the refurbished building designed by PRP Architects.