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SharpFutures: Alternative places to spend your fresher’s week

As its now Fresher’s Week for first year students in Manchester, we thought it would be a good idea to get some of the younger members of the team to recommend a few night out destinations, alternatives to the more obvious places you may have already heard about. We hope you enjoy them

If you have any suggestions please Tweet us at @SharpFutures or email us at


Wasabi by Shu-Ling Li

Itadakimasu…Tuck In!

For when you need to escape the bustling streets of Manchester, China Town’s Wasabi is a great Japanese restaurant to tuck away into. With its oriental décor and vibrant anime themed interior, Wasabi makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an overlWasabiooked avenue of Japan’s traditional meets urban scene. Specialising in freshly made  ramen, sushi and bento (Japanese street food), the menu here is perfect if you’re on a budget with set combinations of ramen, yakisoba orbento dishes with 3 sushi plates starting at just £8.50 – this also makes the
perfect hangover cure! What makes Wasabi such a fun place to eat however is the eccentric stream of J-pop music videos from the most popular artists of Japanese youth culture. Without a doubt, these will have you mesmerised over your many plates of maki rolls and miso soup!

Faulkner Street, Manchester, M1 4FF

 Cane and Grain by Rachael Rothwell

Cane and Grain is the place if you enjoy ribs and rum. They describe themselves as part skate bar, part speakeasy, pat TIKI heaven. Cane and GrainIt’s open late but is a great place any time of the day. Located in the NQ it is a bar with something for everyone.

Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA



Font Bar by Lewis Marsh

From chalk written specials to a relaxing atmosphere through lighting and chilled music; along with great company of course, in my personal opinion The Font bar is worthy of your free time. Along with all these positivFont bares it is also conveniently based only a 5-minute walk from Piccadilly gardens.

I prefer the daytime as the music played is chilled enough to have a conversation with the person you have gone with.

New Wakefield Street, Manchester, M1 5NP


2022 by Kerry Parker

2022 is a bar that prides itself on being quirky with good beer & music. You can play Ping-Pong in one-half of the room and dance in the other! 2022It’s free entry so it’s definitely worth having go if you find yourself in the NQ.

Dale Street, Manchester M1 1EZ

The Eagle Inn by Dom Corry

I love those venues in which you don’t expect the venue to actually be there – The Eagle is one of them. It’s a quaint back street pub initially but then, swiftly down a few small walkways and doors you The eagle Innenter this magnificently intimate room, all arched and vaguely Gothic, it has a balcony overlooking the stage as well which is very rare in smaller venues, every time I’ve played there the experience has been a great one, the small nature of the room means that the atmosphere is always good, I recommend.

Collier Street, Salford M3 7DW

The Eagle is so alternative it doesn’t have a website!



42nd Street Nightclub by Kristian Baines

42nd Street – 42’s for short – is a Venue for alternative, non-chart music with a relaxed dress code and regular themed DJ nights. This is a rather popular venue, so I recommend you get there early or be prepared to queue.

With theme nights and varied music on different days, there is 42nd streetsomething for every type of music fan. You can even become a member for cheaper entry and free drinks. This is always a great place to sample the popular music that has come up through Manchester. Also let’s face it, as a fresher, it’s all about the cheap drinks.

Bootle Street, Manchester, M2 5GU

HIDDEN by Sam Wagster

HIDDEN is a new night club that’s been in the making for a good few years. Along with having the soundest guys running it, its autumn winter line up is incredHiddenible. Having only opened under a month ago. The night club has already played host to some of electronic music’s best acts, including Magic Mountain High (Move D, JuJu & Jordash).

If you’re into your hard hitting and Detroit techno make sure to make it down to Meat Free for Ben Sims, DJ Bone and Fred P. As those girls always know how to through as party.

Mary Street, Manchester, M3 1DZ

Satan’s Hollow by Sally Hirshman

Describing itself as a ‘neo discotheque’, Satan’s Hollow is THE must-visit nightclub for fans of rock and heavy metal music.  With its stone floors and chapel-like seating area; two rooms of music plSatan's Hollowaying a mixture of current tracks and classic metal; two bars with devilishly student-friendly drinks deals (a bottle of Carlsberg lager for £1.30!) and a large statue of Satan himself overlooking proceedings, this nightclub has everything the student (or seasoned!) rocker could want from a night out!

Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD


An ode to ‘St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson’

Last year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity, as a part of  my apprenticeship at Sharpfutures, to work on the ‘St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson’ Shoot which was a project put together by the poet Mike Garry and Composer Joe Dudell to commemorate the lasting and culturally seminal legacy of Anthony Wilson, Founder of Factory Records and The Hacienda Night Club as well as Presenter and reporter of various TV shows including “So it Goes” and “The Other Side of Midnight” and  in turn to raise money for the hospital/charity that cared for him in his final months Manchester’s Christie Cancer Hospital.MIKE GARRY ROWETTA JOHN ROBB

Whether you like it or not, the impact on our city that Tony Wilson had is meteoric, a ubiquitous angel. Aesthetically, sonically, even architecturally; from the European coffeehouse chic and warehouse Minimalism of the northern quarter to the, sometimes overwhelming, notion that the present can never be relevant again it’s, in many ways, all courtesy of Anthony H Wilsons mind and his desire to implement his tastes and quirks into the heart of a city, a city that he loved and dragged, damp and bleak into the future and though it still suffers as a place, in many ways Manchester never looked back because of hi

It could even be argued that the building that hosted most of the shooting of the video and the building that I work in; The Sharp Project, was the ideal place to shoot the video because it’s totally in line with the progression and pioneering prominence that Tony Wilson’s legacy’s befits/insists, as well as also being home to Mikes poem “The Sharp Project” as printed on the wall of the buildings reception as an eponymous introduction to guests. For the first two days I was given the task of being a runner for the shoot, I was told that I’d be helping people of a significantly Madchester honour (a definite paraphrase) around the building, showing them to and from the campus and studios and so on. As someone, like most 20 year olds, who’d been brought up to be made aware of what was going on prior to my birth and in the midst of 1990’s infancy, in my city. I recognised many of the people (Vini Reilly Shaun Ryder, Paul Morley, Rowettaect) on the list and their achievements in life and when you’re, in essence, just a quiet gawk with an arguably bad haircut from New Moston, that’s pretty daunting.

I was a fan of Mike Garry’s prior to the shoot having found him on one of those mad YouTube jaunts that we, as a 21st century humanoids, are often prone to from time to time; a poem called “Mancunian Meander” ( was a clip that I’d keep referring back to mainly because it was ace and it healed the wounds of the post-college joblessness, but that’s what great art does right? Heal the wounds…Obviously, then when I’d fast-forwarded about 9 months and I was in the position whereby I’d actually be working with him on one of his projects, I was excited. The coincidence had done me a favour for once. 


What I noticed about the faces coming in to record their parts and/ or interpretations of Mikes Poem “St Anthony”, via snippets of conversation I’d overheard and general aura, was that they wanted to get this right, it was very much an ode to someone one who these people had intense love for, a soul who’d affected them in a massive way whether they knew him personally or not (which most did).

The poem its self is structurally and subtly rapid fire and sets a scene of someone reaching out to an old friend to talk about anything, everything just to talk. It’s a very human poem and it’s totally endearing, regardless of your opinion of Tony Wilson, have you ever lost someone and just wanted them back for a chat? The irony being that Mike, as he explained in some recent interviews ( , didn’t actually ever speak to tony, he’d just been asked to write a poem about him by Terry Christian for a radio tribute Terry was doing in 2007, and to me; when you can pinpoint the heart of such an emotive and universal subject and the inner vibrancies of the human psyche with the detail and specification of one person, to the point where it connects with everyone and galvanises the people who knew that person to the point they’d want to be a part of it as well, that’s when you have something special on your hands, so well done Mike, well done.

Joe Dudell, said that the music he used was based on the Opening Sequences of a the New Order song “Your Silent Face” ( I didn’t know this until I watched the interview above, because I don’t actually know the song as I was only familiar with the New Order Songs that were on the best of, in my now deceased iPod. A blessing in disguises because when I did listen to, it blew me away. I liked the fact that Joe was inspired by just a snippet of the song and he developed it into its own entity, with its own purpose.


On the third day of Filming, I was asked, through Sharpfutures, if I’d like to assist Michael Wray from Zemap to finish the last few bits of filming, with none other than New Order, which I’m not going to lie, was pretty bloody mint. After a few hours of set up and preparation, Michael kindly took the time out to  give me a training session on how to use the cameras and lighting professionally, we got down to the filming and thought I was only there as support for Michael and contributed in a small way to the filming process, It was a thrilling experience to be a part of a creative project such as this, because A) creating is the ultimate passion and fulfilment in my life and B) you realise how democratic the whole process is or at least can be, the ship is kept a sail because people listen to each other and take into consideration other people’s interpretations and ideas, this approach runs through the set, from behind, to in front of the camera and the results are a very passionate and honest  6 minutes of tribute to a great great man…

“St Anthony Saint Anthony Please come Round, Something is lost that cannot be found”

Over and out.


Antony H Wilson passed away on the 10th August 2007 after defining the course of the world’s musical taste.

The accompanying video, released 14th of August 2015, made by Soup Collective filmed at the Sharp Project, is testament to the love and respect for Wilson that continues after his death. Featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators each reciting lines from the poem, including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Christopher Eccleston, Iggy Pop, Peter Saville to name but a few

Antony H Wilson passed away on the 10th August 2007 after defining the course of the world’s musical taste.

The accompanying video, released 14th of August 2015, made by Soup Collective filmed at the Sharp Project, is testament to the love and respect for Wilson that continues after his death. Featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators each reciting lines from the poem, including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Christopher Eccleston, Iggy Pop, Peter Saville to name but a few

On Friday, 14 August 2015 at 19:00, to celebrate the release of St. Anthony, Mike Garry and Joe Duddell with the Cassia String Quartet will be performing the single live followed by a screening of the accompanying Soup Co produced video (as well as previously unseen, exclusive interview footage) featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Shaun Ryder, John Robb, & Peter Saville.

Special guest DJs on the night include Clint Boon, Kath McDermott, Bobby Langley and Mike Pickering following a screening of the video.

All profits from the single will go to The Christie Charitable Fund’.




The Contributors

Andrew Weatherall

Bernard Sumner

Christopher Eccleston

Elliot Rashman

Gillian Gilbert

Iggy Pop

Joe Duddell

John Bramwell

John Cooper Clarke

John Robb

Johnny Jay

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Larry Gott

Leroy Richardson

Mark Radcliffe

Mike Garry

Mike Pickering

Miranda Sawyer

Paul Morley

Peter Saville

Philip Glass

Richard Madeley


Shaun Ryder

Stephen Morris

Steve Coogan

Terry Christian

Vini Reilly

Rachael Rothwell – My First Week With SharpFutures

Growing up the Sharp Electronics building has always been part of my local landscape. Travelling into Manchester on the train it was a recognisable landmark of my journey but more as a derelict unused building. These days the train no longer runs and has been regenerated into our new tram system connecting our city better than ever. This is also true in regards to the Sharp building as it has also been regenerated and evolved into the place I’m currently starting a work placement for SharpFutures, working for the Sharp Project. It really does feel that as my landscape is changing around me in local area, so are my opportunities. I will be writing a blog to give an insight into what it is like to undertake a placement with SharpFutures, what I learn through this experience and what opportunities it presents me. It will involve the typical day to day activities of the people around me, hopefully showing what an asset this space can bring for young people and Manchester as a community.

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SharpFutures [FRAMED]

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As a means of curating and displaying the work produced by our recently graduated placements, we produced a brand-new website with Pixel Kicks of The Sharp Project:

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We held an  event at The Sharp Project, where; the website was launched, films were premiered and the placements received their graduation awards.

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If you’d like to keep up-to-date with SharpFutures [FRAMED] and our online video content, subscribe on YouTube and check-out our new website.

Check out our ‘Rossendale Documentary Short’:


CSI Manchester – BBC 5 Live

Recently, I got the chance to make my first visit over to MediaCityUK this week to the BBC 5 Live studios for the Richard Bacon Show. The show features a variety of guests from the fields of news, sport and entertainment with a typical audience for BBC 5 Live of 6.3 million listeners.

photo5Booths in Quays House – MediaCityUK

With the BBC relocating to Manchester, MediaCityUK is now becoming the nucleus of media in the north.  Being able to see it first hand was an amazing opportunity. Already being based at Creative Digital hub The Sharp Project I was already accustomed to walking in to a building and being hit with edgy, modern design and creativity but was very impressed with the look and feel of MediaCityUK. I was already aware that it was a huge site but it really overwhelms you when you are stood in the centre of new development buildings which are now housing the likes of BBC Children‘s, BBC Learning, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Breakfast and also the likes of Dock 10 and The Pie Factory.

photo4Myself and Ken Bagshaw in BBC 5 Live studio

I was there with some tenants from The Sharp Project who feature in a press piece on Digital Forensics, the tenants featuring were Glen & Adam from Aequitas Forensics, Jayne from Taylor Smith Forensics and Ken & Sean from Ev-iDen-Tial/3DSI .

  • Aequitas Forensics Ltd is an Expert Witness company offering services in the areas of Digital media, Cellsite Analysis, body fluids, DNA profiling and Firearm examinations.
  • Taylor Smith Forensics offer services covering all aspects of digital media including audio, cellsite analysis, fingerprints, body fluids, DNA profiling and firearm examinations
  • 3DSi provides expert witness services specialising in forensic geomatics, surveying, CAD and evidential presentation services
  • Ev-i-Den-Tial offer presentation of evenidential marterial to allow a greater understanding and recollection of vital evidence by jurors.

photo7 (2)Jayne Leponis, Ken Bagshaw, Adam McArthy, Glen Siddall and Sean Murphy live on BBC 5 Live

BBC 5 Live thought this would be a great topic for its listeners so invited a number of companies down from The Sharp Project who are experts in Digital Forensics. The theme – ‘CSI Manchester‘ had previously been distributed in print media for the past few months so radio was the final part of the journey.

I had been with this process from the beginning which started with  the distribution of the press release, then to go on meeting with the researcher from Richard Bacon’s show. I then got to witness and hear the show being broadcast live from the adjacent production room. It was a really interesting insight on the process of doing press piece and how all the different forms of media can be used as a communication tool.

Listen to the podcast here

Daily Bacon – June 9th, 2014 Forensics Special

Or listen to a short snippet of the interview below


Know your chosen sector inside out

Thoroughly research careers in your chosen area and be realistic about what you can expect. For example, don’t expect to clock off at 5pm if you want to design graphic content or photograph fashion shoots.

The Creative sector is notorious for long, unsociable hours, skipped lunch breaks and early starts. Be realistic and prepared to travel or work late to deadlines if that’s what your profession demands.

Mark Barlow from Applearn who are based at The Sharp Project comments “70% of our clients are based in Japan, it’s not unheard of for us to conduct conference calls at 4am, it’s what the business demands” 

John Chorley – Final Week with SharpFutures.

A few weeks ago I applied for a Game Design Apprenticeship Position with PlayGround Squad based here at The Sharp Project. I was ready to apply for a job I’ve wanted since I was five years old.

I told my parents I would be a games designer one day, and my friends in school told me my name would be in the credits of a game and they are right.

My life changed for the better when I first played Alexx the Kidd on the Sega Master System 2 all those years ago. For those too young to understand what Alexx the Kidd was like, you can check out the video below from Cubex55 on YouTube.

For a long time, I gave up wanting to work with video games, because there was simply no related jobs in Manchester, and so I changed my career to be a web developer, there’s always someone who needs a website right? There is a lot of money to be had in developing websites, and even mentioning that I’m a web developer gets people asking me questions.

When I started working for SharpFutures I had no idea that it would open up the career path for me that I had always wanted.  If I didn’t work for SharpFutures, I wouldn’t have found out about the games design apprenticeship with PlayGround Squad, and thus it would still be a dream.

I play video games all the time, so this apprenticeship is an excellent match for me, not only do I get to play games, but I’ll also be working on creating them.  With the next generation of consoles here, its one of the best times to get into the industry.

SharpFutures has been the stepping stone to help me get ready to realise my dreams, they have been an excellent team to work with this past year, and I wish everyone the very best for the future, and thank you for an excellent year.


I used to pass The Sharp Project every weekend on the way to work, the thing that stood out to me was the glittery silver front.  I would be looking forward to a dull day at a fast food restaurant and passing it made me smile, but I never really understood what the building was. My second encounter with The Sharp Project was a little different; I’ve recently been selected to take part in a Social Media boot camp by another company, which I’d previously been rejected from. This time I wanted to stand out so I went in search of some work experience that would make me stand out from all the social media hopefuls.

That’s when my aunty suggested The Sharp Project, I immediately set out to try and find out a little more about it. After emailing SharpFutures they set up two days work experience for me to come in and talk to other people within the field, and gain a little knowledge about working within such an environment.

Although I had done some research prior to coming to The Sharp Project, it didn’t really prepare me in the slightest, pictures can’t really do the building justice. Apart from it being absolutely huge, it’s also extremely quirky and homely. It reminded me of the Google headquarters, all it needed was a slide! I was absolutely amazed by ‘Red’ which in normal speak is a row of glass cabins that different creative companies work from. It genuinely has a high street feel, and is a brilliant way for different companies to interact and exchange thoughts.

The Sharp Project feels like a community rather than office space, ‘The Campus’ (which in normal speak would probably be described as a canteen) is a hub of people eating, working and even playing ping pong. It feels like a courtyard with all the glass offices facing it, the air throughout the place is almost electric. I also had the chance to meet Sue Woodward, the Creative Champion behind The Sharp Project, talking to the person behind the extremely large building I was stood in was extremely exciting and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so.

Being a young person trying to get into this particular industry at the moment is proving an impossible task, everybody wants to do it and trying to differentiate yourself from all the others is extremely difficult. It’s also very expensive to run your own business at such a young age, to make it work you need experience and that’s what The Sharp Project offered me.  Having spent time here speaking to the SharpFutures apprentices and looking around the office space I feel much more comfortable knowing that somewhere like this exists.

Spaces like The Sharp Project give the younger generation an opportunity to start their own business and let their own space for a small price, rather than trying to make a huge sum of money they’re trying to create jobs/opportunities and are trying to create a buzz around the industry.  My time at The Sharp Project with SharpFutures was short but I definitely won’t forget it, and who know in a few years I might find myself with a shipping container in Red!

Jessica, Student, 19