A report to be presented to Manchester City Council’s executive next week puts the case for further expansion of the Space Project in West Gorton, the purpose-built TV and drama production complex which opened a year ago.
The first year saw the production stages accommodate TV dramas Cradle to Grave, Boy Meets Girl, Mount Pleasant, Paul Abbott’s hit No Offence for Channel 4 as well as CBBC’s World’s End. The Space Project has also become the new home of the BBC’s enduringly popular Dragons’ Den.
Proposals for phase two include the construction of nearly 90,000 sq ft of new buildings for production and related support activities including a 30,000 sq ft stage, workshops and business units. Phase three will increase the size by a further 50,000 sq ft across the 16-acre site.
The overall masterplan under consideration by the city would see The Space Project double in size by 2017. The report seeks approval from the council’s executive for funding to take the proposals to the next stage. Detailed site investigations and design work are required to prepare a robust and comprehensive investment case.
Susan Woodward, founder of the Space Project, said: “The Space Project has been incredibly successful already with high demand for our five production stages from clients including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV. We have been able to capture a larger share of the growing market, building on Manchester’s historic strength as a TV and drama centre. These proposals for expansion are very exciting and will allow us to compete for more business and bring even more productions to the North of England.”
The existing 360,000 sq ft site, which offers 55,000 sq ft of production space, opened in October 2014, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Homes & Communities Agency and Manchester City Council.