A keystone of the UK’s industrial past, Manchester is no stranger to economic innovation. In recent years, the city has once again begun capitalising on the technological trends of the present day, and while its historic base in textiles continues to flourish – Boohoo is one of the UK’s fastest-growing fashion retailers – an expansion of the city’s digital creative sector has taken root.
The VFX and Game production industries, in particular, have become vital components in the UK’s economy: TIGA’s latest report has cited the UK’s game industry as “the largest in Europe”, contributing “1.8 billion” to GDP, with the BFI’s commissioned report in 2018 stating that VFX contributes another “1 billion”. In Manchester 2018, specifically, the city’s digital tech industry contributed “4.8b” to the UK economy and game developers in the NE of England contributed “£1.90 of every £1,000 of regional GVA (Gross Value Added)”.
Another beneficiary of the growing digital sector is television; the industry has seen huge economic investment. The establishment of Media City has seen the housing of studios such as the BBC and ITV – the Farm Group and Studio Lambert recently built branches in the city too. The large TV base that now exists in the city benefits directly from the greater pool of local talent available for projects. The presence of these companies has also provided increased opportunities for creative agencies and studios looking to broaden their regional markets.
Founded 10 years ago in Manchester, we have leveraged our diverse range of skills to work across an array of projects, whether it’s completing work for the BBC and Netflix series The Worst Witch, animations for Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot campaigns, or collaborating with Ninja Theory on recent in-engine trailers for the new title Bleeding Edge. We’re very much aware of the growing digital economy in our home city, and we’ve teamed up for several Manchester-based projects, such as working alongside Velvet Films for Star Wars: Origins.
This growing trend comes with an emergence of new creative technologies and Manchester, along with the rest of the UK, has taken hold of the continued growth. From VFX studios to games developers, digital production companies have transformed the city into a production hub, proving that industries outside of London can provide fertile ground for success.