Subject to planning, this will see the production hub double in size by 2017. The announcement comes as The Space Project completes its first full trading year, having seen the complex used by all UK major broadcasters and international film companies.
Proposals for the expansion 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, more than 6,000 sq ft of offices and green rooms, 10,000 sq ft for set construction workshops and a further 40,000 sq ft of business units for the TV production supply chain across the 6.8 hectare (17 acre) site.
Sue Woodward, Founder of The Space Project, said: “Demand for production space is growing rapidly. Building Phase 2 will help satisfy current and future demand and importantly allow us to accommodate essential supply chain businesses in a production hub which will develop local job opportunities and drive further growth in the sector.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “The delivery of this next phase will ensure that Manchester and The Space Project stay ahead of the curve against competing facilities, which will enable us to capture future opportunities to locate TV and drama productions in greater Manchester. This will help create a further 275 jobs and boost the local economy by nearly £10million.”
The Space Project opened in October 2014 and was funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) and Manchester City Council.
In its first year it has attracted all major UK producers. Clients include BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Sony Big Talk and Tiger Aspect. The first year saw on-site production activity supporting approximately 250 jobs with an associated GVA (Gross Value Added) benefit to the local economy of £9m.
The production stages have accommodated some of TV’s most popular dramas and comedies including ITV’s ‘Cradle to Grave’, BBC Two’s highest rating drama origination of the year, ‘Boy Meets Girl’, a fifth series of ‘Mount Pleasant’, and 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’.
It has also hosted ‘Houdini and Doyle’, the upcoming American-British-Canadian drama television series based on the friendship between Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle. A 10-episode first session has been ordered by Fox in the United States, ITV in the UK and Shaw Media in Canada.