Free workshops aim to fill skills gap in TV and film sector

A series of skills workshops specifically for the TV and film sector will take place in Manchester later this year.

Designed to help fill the skills gap in the industry’s supply chain, the free masterclasses will focus on trades related to the sector including construction, set building, joinery, lighting and rigging, painting and decorating, special effects make up and catering.

Aimed at both those with no previous experience or qualified tradespeople who wish to re-train, workshop places will be available to anyone of any age who lives in Greater Manchester.

They will be run by social enterprise SharpFutures and will take place at The Space Project.

The 360,000 sq ft purpose built TV production stage complex in West Gorton offers over 55,000 sq. ft. of dedicated stage space plus support facilities for the primary purpose of drama and TV production.

The £14m expansion of The Space Project will see it double in size. More than 90,000 sq ft of new buildings will be built for TV and film production and related support activities across the 17 acre site, including a 30,000 sq ft stage.

Space Project founder Susan Woodward said: “Our expansion plans are driven by the huge and growing demand for TV and film production in the north west. It’s vitally important we create new opportunities for local people who want to work ‘behind the scenes’ There are hundreds of people around the world working in TV and film who got their first break in television at Granada Television and we want to continue this Manchester legacy here at  Manchester’s newest  purpose built production complex.”

Also included on site will be additional 6,000 sq ft of offices and green rooms, 10,000 sq ft for set construction workshops – equipped with water and power and vehicle access via roller shutters – and a further 40,000 sq ft of business units to rent for companies who supply to the TV production industry. The new facility is due to be completed by the end of the year.

SharpFutures production manager, Elli Metcalfe, who was previously responsible for sourcing trades people for TV shows like 60 Minute Makeover said: “Trades such as painters, joiners, plasterers and electricians are desperately needed in the TV and film industry. We need to create a community of craft skills and we’re looking to the local community to help us so we can bring more TV and film production to Manchester.”

An open evening for up to 150 local people will take place at The Space Project on 9 May 2017 from 4pm – 7pm when anyone interested in attending a workshop can find out more.   Places are limited so booking is essential.

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