These city-owned digital assets will be brought into the new company, although each will retain their separate identities and operate as individual enterprises.
“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,” explained Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, who has responsibility for Digital Manchester.
“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.
“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.”
The council hopes the move will create up to 1300 jobs over the next 3 years.
The holding company will be wholly owned by the city council, providing strategic direction to the digital sector as well as identifying gaps in provision and bringing forward strategies to fit them.
A business plan for the company will be submitted for approval by the City Council’s Executive later in the year.
“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,” said Sue Woodward OBE, director of The Sharp Project and Manchester’s Creative Media Champion.
“The Council’s foresight in grasping this opportunity with both hands and believing in our ambition is truly commendable and quite remarkable.”