Manchester City Council has owned the facility since 2014. Credit: via planning documents

Space Studios expansion takes step forward

Manchester City Council has lodged plans for an additional 70,000 sq ft of capacity at the West Gorton film and TV studio. 

Having been appointed earlier this year, architect PRP has designed proposals for two 20,000 sq ft sound stages for the production of TV and film, together with 30,000 sq ft of support space.   

The latest plans are for the third phase of development at the former Fujitsu industrial site in West Gorton that the council bought in 2012.  

Phase one saw five 12,000 sq ft TV production stages, 10,000 sq ft of workshops, and 40,000 sq ft of production offices and support spaces delivered. 

The second phase of work added a 40,000 sq ft sound stage and 50,000 sq ft of adaptable workshop units. 

Phase three would be constructed on 3.8 acres in the south-west corner of the site. The project aims to “respond to the success of the last seven years [and] allow for Manchester to continue to compete as a global player in terms of TV and film production”, according to planning consultant NJL Consulting. 

Speaking earlier this year, Space Studios managing director Rob Page put the site’s continued expansion down to UK tax breaks and “the ever-growing need for content from streaming services”.

Since opening in 2014, Space Studios has contributed almost £20m to the local economy, the consultant added. 

Urban Green is advising the council on landscape strategy and Buro Happold is the M&E consultant. 

Earlier this week Place North West reported that Manchester City Council had approved £679,000 to buy more land in West Gorton. 

It is understood the council intends to use the land for the future growth of Space Studios. 

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