Manchester’s Sharp Producer Secures BSkyB Comedy

PayTV broadcaster BSkyB and indie producer Tiger Aspect have selected The Sharp Project studio complex in East Manchester for the filming of the first Sky 1 HD comedy drama, Mount Pleasant.

Altogether, they have hired two of the four available sound stages, totalling 16,000 sq ft, and an additional 8,000 sq ft of customised production offices. These are all wireless-enabled with a high-speed bandwidth and include costume, make up, dressing and green rooms and laundry facilities. Filming of the eight 60 minute episodes will start in March with transmission in the autumn.

Sue Woodward, Director of The Sharp Project said: “Tiger Aspect is a premier league signing for us. (Manchester) has made a considerable investment in The Sharp Project to help further build on the excitement generated by MediaCityUK. Together we are delivering a rich and wide range of production facilities for companies looking outside London”.

Howard Ella, Line Producer for Tiger Aspect, added: “The location of The Sharp Project is ideal for access to the City and all of our locations and allows us to base office and production on one site. Also the large size of the main stage is perfect for housing the four large sets being built in one space. With a large office and all of our design, costume, make up and artist facilities in the building we have a model that allows us to meet the demands of a busy schedule and (hopefully!) deal with the surprises every big shoot brings.”

The Sharp Project is funded by Manchester City Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund. It offers a mix of space, from office accommodation in converted shipping containers, to offices complete with skylights and mezzanine views over a central campus. The “Winter Garden” also provides 5,000 sq ft of rehearsal/event space. Two other sounds stages of around 4,000 and 28,000 square feet complete the offer.

Steve Thorncroft, deputy chief executive of regeneration company New East Manchester said: “Manchester is open for business for companies like Tiger Aspect and Sky. Having productions like this made here is fantastic and positions us as a first class location for digital production.”

Note: Mount Pleasant is one of Sky’;s first original comedies since the appointment of Lucy Lumsden to Head of Comedy.

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