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Manchester Metropolitan University’s new £35m School of Digital Arts underway

Building work is underway on Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Digital Arts, a £35m investment into the future of digital storytelling.

Due to be opened in 2021, the School of Digital Arts (SODA) is a pioneering interdisciplinary school, built to support the ever-growing demand for skilled workers in the region’s creative and digital tech sector.

SODA will feature state-of-the-art lab spaces, workshops and professional networks, underpinned by a unique teaching and research environment to create, among others, the next cohort of animators, filmmakers and games designers.

Construction began on Monday (Nov 25) at a special event. In attendance was the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Manchester Metropolitan Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press, representatives from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GMLEP), Manchester City Council and the SODA architects Feilden Clegg Bradley (FCB) Studios and construction partners Kier.

Working alongside industry professionals, more than 1,000 students per year will study disciplines than span animation, filmmaking, photography, UX and game design, Al and more.

Students will able to choose from a variety of courses designed with those partners: undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees that run alongside industry-first degree apprenticeships and short courses.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press said: “SODA combines Manchester Metropolitan’s excellence in the arts with our expertise in technology. The creative and digital industries are growing, here in Manchester, nationally and internationally, creating urgent demand for new skills and knowledge. SODA will prepare our students to be the next generation of creative talent, ready to succeed in these new roles.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “SODA is a big step towards fulfilling our ambition for Greater Manchester to be the UK's leading digital city-region. We are already a centre for creativity, and when you bring tech and creativity together as we will in this great new School, we are getting closer towards it.”

Image: Manchester Metropolitan University


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