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New drama hub for UK’s Manchester as tax breaks kick in

The Sharp ProjectThe UK city of Manchester is continuing its push into media production by opening a new 360,000 sq. ft. drama hub designed to take advantage of the new British tax credit system.

The site will complement The Sharp Project’s existing drama studios in Gorton, Greater Manchester, where shows including Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat, Sky Living laffer Mount Pleasant and the BBC’s Casualty 1909 are produced.

It will include 50,000 sq. ft. of production space across five “high spec” stages, according to a press release from The Sharp Project, which is an initiative that offers digital entrepreneurs and production companies affordable office space.

The studio is being created with the new UK drama tax break in mind and its designers say it will be “ideally placed to attract interest from producers and broadcasters both in the UK and overseas”.

Sue Woodward, project director at The Sharp Project and the new site development, said: “Demand has grown for space since we opened the stages at the Sharp Project, to the extent that we have had to repeatedly turn productions away. This, coupled with the tax incentive programme, made a sound business case for investment.”

Jenny Hay, a comedy production executive at Fresh Meat producer Objective Productions, added: “We couldn’t have been happier with our home here at The Sharp Project for the past three seasons of Fresh Meat, and everything the facility and its first rate team have been able to provide. It’s a top quality space and we’ll certainly be amongst the first to consider the new drama hub for any future productions.”