Space Project To ‘Double In Size By 2017’
The Space Project today announces ambitious new expansion plans that will create another 140,000 square feet of production space adjacent to the current 360,000 square feet site.
The announcement comes just as The Space Project competes its first full trading year, having seen the complex used by all UK major broadcasters and international film companies.
The Project’s backers, Manchester City Council, have earmarked large scale adjacent land and buildings at Space for demolition and development across a total of 6.8 hectares.
It is estimated the proposed new facility would be located on land adjoining the existing facility. Proposals for Phase 2 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 3 increases the size by a further 50,000 sq. ft. across the 6.8 hectare site.
Officially fully operational since October 2014, The Space Project has secured a raft of top TV shows in its first year, including ‘Cradle to Grave’, BBC Two’s highest rating original drama of the year, as well as the channel’s pioneering transgender comedy ‘Boy Meets Girl’; a fifth series of Sky 1’s ‘Mount Pleasant’; Paul Abbott’s hit ‘No Offence’ for Channel 4 and the much anticipated international co-production, ‘Houdini & Doyle’ for ITV Big Talk/Sony. The Space Project has also become the new home of the BBC’s enduringly popular ‘Dragons’ Den’.
Based on current booking projections, The Space Project has generated £9.46 million to the regional economy. Today’s expansion plans build are geared towards expanding the growth of Manchester’s film, TV and drama offering, which also included a substantial investment in fibre connectivity by dock10 earlier this year to consolidate the city’s end-to-end production proposition.
Susan Woodward, Founder of The Space Project and architect of the new expansion plans, said of the proposals: “Opening the doors to a set of buildings last year was just the beginning; the real achievement was being able to attract the key players in the sector and win their repeat business. The Space Project’s expansion will support Manchester’s ambitions to host to the very best UK and international productions, expertly delivered by a skilled labour market and know-how that’s hard to find anywhere else outside London.”
Sally Debonaire, Director of Production, ITV Studios UK, commented: “From the Coronation Street mini-bus Crash to international co-pro Houdini and Doyle, The Space Project has provided a much needed facility in Manchester and the North West that ITV has taken full advantage of. The ambitious plans will further consolidate Manchester as the best place outside London for production talent.”
According to the latest Government statistics, the UK’s creative industries are currently worth £71.4 billion a year.