Insights

BBC Director-General Reinforces Corporation’s Commitment To MediaCity

The BBC’s Director-General has told an audience at MediaCity the corporation will not be complacent in its commitment to Salford.

Speaking at an event to mark ten years of the BBC at MediaCity, Tim Davie praised local partners, including Salford City Council and Salford University, for helping to “build a brilliant, sustainable site where people want to work and invest; learn and live”.

The BBC boss also used his visit to Salford to commend North West Tonight weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans, who raised more than £3m for Children in Need with his 24-hour drumathon, which had “captured the imagination of the nation”.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie, said:

“What we have achieved in Salford over the past decade – with our partners from across the city and the region – has been remarkable.

“The BBC at MediaCity hasn’t just thrived; it has grown into a major regional and national success story. And it has proved just what the BBC can do to support the creative industries around the country.”

Friday’s Children in Need appeal show will be broadcast from MediaCity and next month the annual Sports Personality of the Year ceremony will come live from the Salford studios.

Ten years on from the opening of the BBC’s three buildings at MediaCity the corporation now has 4,000 staff based on site, double the figure from 2011.

The Director General said the Corporation had delivered on its commitment to “build something special” in Salford.

Earlier this year a KPMG report found the BBC had helped create a “creative and digital cluster”, with employment in the creative sector increasing by 142% and the number of creative businesses increasing by 70% between 2010 and 2019.

Mr Davie said the BBC wanted to do more from Salford and across the North of England as part of the ambitious Across the UK plan, announced earlier this year, which will see at least an extra £700m cumulatively across the UK by 2027/28.

This will include an increased presence for Radio 3 and 50% of 6 Music in Salford, alongside more news teams based in MediaCity. From February next year, business updates on the Today programme will be broadcast live from Quay House.

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, also attended the event and praised the positive economic and creative impact the BBC had brought to the local area over the last ten years.

He thanked the corporation for “fundamentally transforming how Salford is perceived by people and investors”.

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, said:

“The relocation of the BBC to Salford has had a profound and lasting impact on our city and local economy. In the last decade Salford’s population has grown by almost 27,000, growth of 12%, well above GM and national comparators.

“Business growth has been extraordinary, over 68%, which again is well above comparators. We’ve enjoyed significant employment growth of 25,000 additional jobs  -plus 20% – again well above GM and national employment growth.

“Economic output in the city, measured by £GVA, has increased substantially by £1.7 billion, an increase of almost one third, plus 30%, in the size of the local economy.

“The BBC has helped to fundamentally transform how Salford is perceived by people and investors.

“We have swapped dock workers for media makers, shipped goods for streamed content, but what drives us remains the same. The vision to make the impossible, possible. And that means we don’t just look back on history. We continue to live it.”

MediaCity

Cloud Imperium Games to Open New Videogame Development Studio in Manchester

International Videogame Developer of Star Citizen and Squadron 42 to Open New Manchester Enterprise City Studio in May 2022

International independent videogame developer Cloud Imperium Games today announced it will open a new game development studio in Manchester’s Enterprise City district, scheduled for May 2022. The Manchester studio will create more than 700 jobs in the metropolitan area by 2023, and over 1,000 within the next five years.

Cloud Imperium Games is a new kind of independent studio dedicated to delivering AAA games outside the established publisher system. Founded in 2012 by renowned visionary game developer, Chris Roberts, the company continues to shift the paradigm of the game development process, offering its community an unprecedented level of visibility and interaction with product development.

Cloud Imperium Games is developing one of the most ambitious and anticipated games, Star Citizen – a record-shattering crowd-funded title that combines classic space simulator gameplay with boundary-pushing visuals in a massively multiplayer setting with extraordinary fidelity. In addition, Cloud Imperium Games is creating a Hollywood-caliber story-driven single-player game set in Star Citizen’s sci-fi universe featuring an all-star cast of Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong and Gillian Anderson, known as Squadron 42.

The company currently employs more than 700 people worldwide, with 400 employees based at its current UK studio headquartered in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The Wilmslow team will relocate to their new headquarters at the heart of the Enterprise City district in Manchester Goods Yard – a media, tech and creative cluster designed to connect people and businesses, encourage collaboration and create success through expert place-making.

Cloud Imperium Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., and has studios in Austin, Texas; Frankfurt, Germany; Montreal, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company is committed to game development in the UK and is invested in growing its Manchester studio to serve as a pivotal team for its large-scale game plans. The new Manchester studio will begin its local recruiting efforts in early 2022, with positions available for programmers, artists, animators, audio specialists, writers, designers and producers, as well as in administrative roles, and in entry-level positions for newcomers looking to make a start in the videogames industry. Current open roles can be found by visiting https://cloudimperiumgames.com/join-us.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

“Greater Manchester is an ambitious tech hub and has become a magnet for digital talent, with a community of industry pioneers, specialist academics and creative minds. We look forward to welcoming Cloud Imperium Games to the city-region in 2022 – in a move set to bring 1,000 jobs over the next five years, along with the opportunity for the region to play a new role in the future of gaming.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:

“The tech and digital sectors are two of the fastest growing in our region’s economy, and developing pathways for our residents to access these jobs in the future, allowing Manchester people to share in the success of the city is key. Cloud Imperium Games coming to Manchester is a welcome addition to a growing cluster at St John’s, helping to solidify the city’s global reputation for pioneering tech.”

Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said:

“MIDAS has supported Cloud Imperium Games with the upcoming move to its major new studio at Enterprise City. Interest in Manchester from tech businesses continues to grow at pace but Cloud Imperium Games are also looking to leverage the great production and content creation expertise that Manchester is home to. The city-region’s universities already have specialist gaming and related courses geared to the industry – and this, along with the career opportunities and investment Cloud Imperium Games is bringing, will help develop the next generation of gaming designers and digital storytellers.”

Chris Roberts, CEO of Cloud Imperium Games, said:

“Manchester is where I started my video game career, when I was hired to write the Game of the Month for BBC Micro User, back in 1983 at the ripe age of 14, so it makes me very happy to announce that we have signed a long-term deal for our biggest office yet, in downtown Manchester. Manchester is one of the most vibrant and modern cities in Europe, with strong education links and high connectivity, offering outstanding opportunities and quality of life for our team. The new Enterprise City space is the perfect home for game development, with its deep investment in businesses focused on media, technology and creativity. Manchester joins Los Angeles, Austin and Frankfurt as home to Cloud Imperium’s team, working in partnership with our community of players on Star Citizen and Squadron 42.”

Michael Ingall, CEO of Allied London, the award-winning property development company spearheading Enterprise City, said:

“We specifically targeted Cloud Imperium as a model business that we can support and help grow at Enterprise City. We have a unique inventory that can excel media, creative and tech businesses, and we have worked with CIG to find a real estate solution that ensures they can create an environment that supports a business case move to Manchester. CIG is one the most creative tech businesses to land in Manchester and we will help its team create a “universe” for its exceptionally talented workforce.”

Allied London was advised by Shoosmiths, led by real estate partner Daniel Monaghan, and supported by senior associate Laura Green.

Daniel Monaghan, real estate partner at Shoosmiths, said:

“This deal has the potential to create up to 1,000 new jobs – boosting the North West economy and showing that Manchester is a prime location for growing, ambitious businesses. Allied London is creating a new hub for modern industry with Enterprise City and we look forward to supporting the firm as it attracts further businesses from the tech, media and creative sectors.”

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, continue its long-term funding partnership with Allied London to create Phase 1 of Enterprise City.

For more information on Cloud Imperium Games, visit CloudImperiumGames.com/core. For details on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, see CloudImperiumGames.com/games.

Follow Cloud Imperium Games on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

 

Manchester India Partnership facilitates major contract with Indian Government

GM LEP are members of the Manchester India Partnership and support its work both financially and through other activity

Innovation hub, HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, has secured a major contract, extending over three years, facilitated by the Manchester India Partnership, with the Indian government to support five high growth Indian technology companies with their expansion into the UK.

This is the first partnership of its kind with the Indian government, which has selected Greater Manchester as the only other location outside of London to run this programme, forging stronger ties with India and contributing towards the region’s economic growth.

The Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), part of the Indian government, developed the project to help growing Indian technology SMEs secure business infrastructure support and launch in the UK. The UK ranks second for India’s software exports, reflecting its significance for the Indian technology industry.

Media City-based HOST will dedicate a team and infrastructure to represent the companies as they expand in the region. The five Indian SMEs provide effective solutions for a diverse range of sectors, including manufacturing, finance, healthcare, airlines, and the public sector with products and services focused on data science, bespoke software application development, IoT and digital service consulting.

This follows Greater Manchester being the first city-region in the UK to sign an agreement with India’s State of Maharashtra, which is home to the city of Mumbai and other major industrial areas.

As well as being home to a fast-growing £5 billion digital ecosystem, Manchester is officially the UK’s Top Digital Tech City, with ambitions to become a top five European digital city and global influencer.

The five companies HOST will be supporting are Terrah Technologies, NeoSOFT Technologies, Prospecta Technologies, GoodBits Tech and SIERRA ODC – which are located in five different cities spanning across India, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Kochi and Coimbatore.

HOST will be responsible for finding new business opportunities and networks, contacting prospective customers and building relationships, helping the companies to accelerate their business growth in new markets.

The Manchester India Partnership was established in February 2018 to unite private businesses, academia and the public sector across India and Greater Manchester to build and strengthen trade, investment, cultural, and educational ties.

MediaCity

MediaCityUK

North West leaders showcase climate change careers to next generation

  • Future UK climate ambitions will be thwarted without a skilled workforce.

  • First-of-its-kind event, during COP26, will inspire future talent towards ‘green jobs’.

  • Hundreds will learn about future opportunities from environmental experts and leaders.

North West business leaders will join forces in Manchester on November 11 to help bridge the skills gap that many experts fear will hold back the UK’s progress towards lowering carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Businesses and young people will come together to explore the future opportunities that these emerging ‘green jobs’ will bring.

The event comes in response to the Government’s ambition to create two million green jobs in the UK by 2030 in its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Climate Change Careers is powered by social enterprise, Agent Academy, in partnership with North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), Net Zero NW and Bruntwood.

Hosted by young people, the event will inspire attendees to progress towards a future career that will make a difference to the planet. North West employers, including Bruntwood, Peel Ports and CGI will use the event to attract new talent into emerging, in-demand job roles.

The hybrid event will be hosted at No.1 Circle Square in Manchester’s innovation district, as well as being live streamed on Thursday 11th November at 1:30pm, to coincide with the UN’s COP26 day for Cities, Regions and Built Environment.

Zoe Wallace, Director of Agent Academy, said:

“Encouraging and supporting future talent to progress into meaningful careers is at the heart of our work at Agent Academy. This event will be hosted by young people who are passionate about leading this movement for change.

“We will hear from a variety of special guest speakers, who will share insight into the progress being made towards a greener future. Positive, long-lasting change only ever happens when people are invited to play their part. That’s exactly what we want this event to do.”

Ged Barlow, Chief Executive at Net Zero North West, said:

“A major part of resolving the employment skills gap in clean growth jobs begins with educating and inspiring young talent and already young people are highly engaged in making a difference. After all, the climate crisis will impact on future generations the most.

“However, a recently published skills report, sponsored by Net Zero North West, found that in order for the road to reducing negative carbon emissions to be successful, immediate action is required to address communication around the role of Net Zero skills. Climate Change Careers will do just that by bringing the region’s brightest talent together to highlight the conversation around Net Zero careers.”

Katie Bray, Deputy Chief Executive at NWBLT, said:

“The North West currently stands as a top region for potential to deliver a low carbon industrial cluster by 2030. Supporting the Climate Change Careers event coincides with the NWBLT’s efforts to partner with like-minded businesses, who work towards clean growth and deliver investment into the community.

“We are committed to building a positive future for the North West and developing future talent is absolutely vital for this to happen.”

Bev Taylor, Director of Energy and Environmental at Bruntwood, said:

“We’re committed to reaching our goal of becoming Net Zero Carbon by 2030, but we know that there is a gap between the skills needed to be able to achieve this and those that are available to us today. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting the Climate Change Careers event and showcasing the amazing and impactful opportunities that are available through green careers.

“Young people will sadly be the most affected by the climate crisis, but we also believe these people have the talent, passion and drive to create a greener, brighter future.”

The Climate Change Careers event is open to all young people, educators and businesses in the North West. Registration for the event is free via Eventbrite.

No.1 Circle Square

No.1 Circle Square

Manchester Art Fair returns to support culture in the city

Manchester Art Fair is returning to support culture in the city this month.

Sponsored by White Circle, Manchester Art Fair is one of the largest and most prestigious art fairs in the UK and welcomes visitors looking to buy modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, editioned prints and digital art.

The fair returns to Manchester Central between 19 and 21 November 2021, forming a centrepiece of Manchester’s cultural season.

The hot trend for this year’s fair is undoubtedly going to be the booming market of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). Manchester Art Fair will demystify the world of NFTs, with advice on purchasing, the link to cryptocurrency, and a selection of exhibitors in the fair selling exclusive NFTs.

Fair Director Sophie Helm said:

“We are excited be bringing live events back to the city with Manchester Art Fair in November supporting the city’s cultural recovery.

“Our audience of art lovers will be able to buy art from over 130 galleries and artists who will be exhibiting at the fair over the weekend, as well as well learning more about NFTs.”

The fair opens with a launch night at Manchester Central on Friday 19 November from 5-9pm, followed by public days on Saturday (10am-6pm) and Sunday (10am – 5pm).

Tickets are available now at manchesterartfair.co.uk

Manchester Art Fair

Graphene’s role in supporting life beyond earth revealed

Advanced manufacturing experts from Manchester have revealed what human life in space could look like – with a graphene-enhanced space habitat developed to meet anticipated demand for human settlements beyond Earth.

A community of specialists at The University of Manchester have teamed up with global architect firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) to research the design and manufacturing of space habitats for the space industry.

With projections that the global space economy could grow to $1 trillion revenue by 2040, the innovation will raise the technology readiness level (TRL) of new lightweight composites using 2D materials for space applications.

In an international collaboration, Dr Vivek Koncherry and his team – supported by the Manchester-based Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) – are creating a scaled prototype of a space habitat with pressurised vessels designed to function in a space environment.

The GEIC was part-funded by GM LEP as part of significant investment into Greater Manchester’s global frontier strengths in advanced materials.

SOM, the architects behind the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa in Dubai – are contributing design and engineering expertise to the space architecture. Daniel Inocente, SOM’s senior designer in New York, said:

“Designing for habitation in space poses some of the greatest challenges – it means creating an environment capable of maintaining life and integrating crew support systems.

“As architects, our role is to combine and integrate the most innovative technologies, materials, methods and above all the human experience to designing inhabited environments,” added Inocente.

“Conducting research using graphene allows us to test lightweight materials and design processes that could improve the efficacy of composite structures for potential applications on Earth and future use in space.”

In the next five to 10 years most governments are expected to want a permanent presence in space to manage critical infrastructure, such as satellite networks – as well as considering the potential opportunity of accessing space-based resources and further scientific exploration.

Dr Koncherry said:

“A major barrier to scaling up in time to meet this demand is the lack of advanced and automated manufacturing systems to make the specialist structures needed for living in space. One of the space industry’s biggest challenges is overcoming a lack of robotic systems to manufacture the complex shapes using advanced materials.”

The solution is incorporating graphene for advanced structural capabilities, such as radiation shielding, as well as developing and employing a new generation of robotic machines to make these graphene-enhanced structures. This technology has the potential to revolutionise high-performance lightweight structures – and could also be used for terrestrial applications in the aerospace, construction and automotive sectors.

James Baker, CEO Graphene@Manchester, said:

“The work being led by Dr Koncherry and his colleagues is taking the development of new composites and lightweighting to another level, as well as the advanced manufacture needed to make structures from these new materials. By collaborating with SOM there are opportunities to identify applications on our own planet as we look to build habitats that are much smarter and more sustainable.”

The space habitat launch coincides with a series of world firsts for graphene in the built environment currently happening here on Earth – including the first external pour of Concretene and pioneering A1 road resurfacing – all supported by experts in the city where the super strong material was first isolated.

Tim Newns, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said:

“This exciting piece of research further underlines the breadth of applications where advanced materials and in particular graphene can revolutionise global industries such as the space industry. In addition to world-leading expertise in graphene, facilities such as the new Advanced Machinery & Productivity Institute (AMPI) in Rochdale, will also support the development of advanced machines and machinery required to bring these applications to reality.”

Graphene in space

The Graphene Space Station