University consults on digital school

Manchester Metropolitan University will today host a public consultation session over its plans for a £35m School of Digital Arts facility at the All Saints campus.

MMU is being supported in the development of the SODA project by Turner & Townsend with Fielden Clegg Bradley as architect, Buro Happold as engineer and Barton Willmore as planner.

The facility is to be located on the site of the Students’ Union car park on Higher Chatham Street next to the Salutation public house, and is supported by grant funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which is keen to build a deeper talent pool as it looks to build strength in the creative and digital industries.

SODA will house subjects including film, animation, UX design, photography, games design and Artificial Intelligence.

MMU said that the building itself is to be future-proofed, able to respond to changes in tech, and will contain a digital innovation lab, open workspaces, green screens, edit suites, screening space, a media gallery, sound and music studios and production studios.

Externally, the proposals include a pedestrianised street between the Benzie Building and the new SODA facility. The pedestrianisation of Higher Chatham Street, MMU said, will integrate with its wider campus public realm masterplan to improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity.

The session will be held today at the Students’ Union, 21 Higher Cambridge Street M15 6AD between 1.30pm and 6.30pm.

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