Sharp Project picks media specialist as building manager

Manchester City Council has appointed Creative & Technical Media Services as the management company for the Sharp Project on an initial 18-month contract.

CTMS will handle all aspects of the property management at the digital and creative production complex owned by the council in east Manchester.

CTMS secured the contract following a tender process and will take over from interim management company Rose Marley Management on 1 October 2012 following a handover period. CTMS has been working with tenants on site at The Sharp Project since October 2011 supplying IT management services, running the internal network, the distribution of connectivity and the technical infrastructure including the server room as well as negotiating and managing third party contracts. The company manages similar facilities in Holland, Scandinavia, Poland and India.

Steve Thorncroft, chief property officer of Manchester City Council, said: "We took a strategic decision to find a partner company that really understood the sector and was therefore able to take the Sharp Project to the next stage of development. CTMS is ideally placed to take on this role. They know the sector extremely well, bringing years of experience with them, and they know Manchester and the region inside out. They will not only be responsible for the bricks and mortar, but they understand the tenants' needs and have the specialist knowledge required to manage and grow the production facilities and take the Sharp Project to the next phase of its journey."

Martin Hulme, technical director of CTMS, said: "Because of our background in media, we understand the sector and are passionate about helping grow the creative economy of the region and deliver its ambition to be a market leader. The Sharp Project is a unique and exciting venture that has inspired us all, especially its desire to grow the sector from a grass root level."

Sue Woodward, director of the Sharp Project, said: "With a full year's operation with the interim management company under our belt, a pretty full order book for the production stages and more than 70 per cent of the office space filled, the business is in good shape. Running it efficiently and keeping the Sharp Project members happy is critically important to all of us. In CTMS we have found a team that share our philosophy and commitment to making Manchester the 'go to' city for creative digital companies, driving forward the transformation of our sector. For tenants it's business as usual."

Sue Woodward, Steve Thorncroft and Rose Marley remain on the Sharp Project's operational board. John Mariner, client liaison manager, formerly with ITV Granada and Keith Hayes, building manager, will continue in their roles. The building remains in the ownership of Manchester City Council.

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