Manchester Council to create 1,300 jobs in creative sector with launch of digital enterprise

By Danielle Wainwright

Nearly 1,300 jobs in Manchester will be created in the next three years as the council have announced plans to establish a new holding company supporting the growth and development of digital sites.

The holding company will hold a family of digital projects to unite a portfolio of existing city-owned digital assets including The Sharp Project, home to dozens of digital businesses and entrepreneurs.

New sites that will be brought into the company, including One Central Park on Central Park and the former Fujitsu building in West Gorton, will have separate branding identities and will operate as individual enterprises.

With the partnership of the three companies, there will be 450,000 square foot of floor space dedicated for creative digital businesses to call home.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, who has responsibility for Digital Manchester, said: “We want to bring these three important Council owned assets under one umbrella body so the group can further improve our position in this rapidly expanding and competitive global market. 

“The City’s creative and digital sector is vital for Manchester’s economy. It stimulates growth and attracts new entrepreneurs, start-ups, capital and talent to the city.”

As well as offering work space, the company will be on hand to advise and support digital businesses with strategic direction and identify gaps in provision.

“It is clear that over time we will need to expand this asset base as demand outstrips supply.  The holding company will allow us to create a flexible platform so we can respond quickly to opportunities as they present themselves,” Cllr Murphy added.

Approval for a company business plan will be submitted for approval by the City Council’s Executive later this year, with The Sharp Project giving their support.

Sue Woodward OBE, Director of The Sharp Project and Manchester’s Creative Media Champion, said: “We have created something very special at The Sharp Project and it would be prudent to capitalise on this opportunity.

“Creating a new company to bring these three important assets together is a major milestone for us and for Manchester as a whole. The Council’s foresight in grasping this opportunity with both hands and believing in our ambition is truly commendable and quite remarkable.”

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Image courtesy of EON Reality, with thanks.

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