Post-production group to open 25,000 sq ft full-service facility in the city centre next year

Paul austin

The Farm Group is to open a 25,000 sq ft facility in the centre of Manchester and has recruited Paul Austin, former head of post-production at Dock 10, to run it.

The Farm Manchester will open next year as a full-service post-production house, offering grading, sound studios, editing and VFX.

It will be the first major post house to open in central Manchester since the demise of Sumners, which closed in 2014 but was once one of the biggest post-production companies outside of London.

“A large-scale post operation in Manchester is something the city is missing and something Manchester deserves,” said The Farm co-founder Nicky Sargent.

“We’re bringing in experienced craftspeople, including local talent, and The Farm Manchester is going to be a big space – double the size of our William facility in London.”

“Opening in Manchester is something our clients want, and have asked us to do,” added The Farm Group chief executive David Klafkowski.

“Drama producers have been left high and dry in the city since Sumners went.”

”A lot of people want to work in the city centre as it’s got a real buzz and life about it”
David Klafkowski, The Farm Group

Klafkowski says The Farm Manchester is designed to appeal to both broadcast and commercials clients who want to work in Manchester’s vibrant city centre.

“A lot of people want to work in the city centre as it’s got a real buzz and life about it. It’s very different to Salford in terms of the environment you’re in.”

The Farm Group already has a substantial presence in the northwest.

Its facility at MediaCityUK, The Farm North, supplies bookings management, operational and creative staff for the edit suites and sports news studio galleries at BBC North’s Salford-based media village.

The Farm Manchester will have no direct link with The Farm North, which is a self-contained operation servicing a single client. It will, though, be connected to The Farm Group’s various London and Bristol bases, enabling collaborative working across all of its creative post facilities.

Austin has already taken up his new position and is busy “setting up the facility now,” said Sargent.

“Paul is ideal for the position – he’s committed to the north-west and has extensive experience of running top-tier post-production houses. He’s been at Dock 10 for five years and before that was managing director of Clear Cut for two years. He also previously worked at BBC Studios & Post Production.”

Austin told Broadcast: “I am looking forward to upholding The Farm Group’s reputation for first-class post facilities when we open The Farm Manchester next year. I am proud to continue working in the north-west, growing the range of post services we can offer the production community.

“Reviving the city centre as a creative hub feels very exciting and I look forward to creating a craft talent team of trusted names, while growing the next generation of stars.”

The Farm Manchester will be “fully open” by September 2018. Its location is yet to be revealed, but Klafkowski said: “It’s in a brilliant location and the bones of the building are great. We can’t wait for it to open.”