Danny Boyle launches pioneering £35m digital arts school in Manchester

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has officially opened the pioneering School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University, a £35million investment in the next generation of creative content.

Offering industry-tailored courses and state-of-the-art spaces equipped with the latest technology, SODA provides a unique teaching and research environment that supports Manchester’s ambition to be one of the world’s leading UK’s digital economy.

Delivered through an innovative partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), SODA promises a revolution in the way we think about the future of storytelling.

Although SODA welcomed its first students in September, Monday was the first opportunity for business leaders, policymakers and creative practitioners to see the incredible new building and take part in demonstrations and interactive installations that showcase the work. fantastic of SODA to date and its ambitions for the future.

By bringing together disciplines such as animation, UX design, photography, sound design, games and AI in a truly interdisciplinary school, SODA will meet the urgent and growing demand for skilled workers in the creative and digital industries. of the region.

Already Britain’s fastest growing technology hub outside of London, SODA’s links to education and industry will help make Manchester one of the most competitive digital cities in the world.

Danny Boyle co-chairs his Industry Advisory Group with award-winning producer Nicola Shindler, ensuring SODA teaching and research is relevant to industry needs and equips students with the skills needed to launch a career in the creative media, arts and digital technology industries.

“Every city in the world will have one,” Danny said.

“There needs to be a place where digital storytellers can come together and share their skills and need for knowledge with each other.

“And it’s in Manchester, which of course is the city I owe everything to, and it’s also a place that produces brilliant, independent minds.”

Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “SODA demonstrates our commitment as a university to harnessing our world-class research and education strengths in culture, creativity and innovation to stimulate economic growth.

“The creative and digital industries are growing, here in Manchester and nationally, creating an urgent and growing demand for new skills and knowledge.

“Our SODA graduates will be industry-ready, helping to bridge this gap and fulfill the city-region’s ambitions to become one of Europe’s leading digital cities.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “In Greater Manchester we are doing digital differently.

“We are committed to being a digital city-region that puts people at the heart of our plans as we work towards our ambitions to be recognized as the world’s leading digital city-region – SODA will play a vital role in achievement of this objective.

“We need to future-proof our digital talent pool, linking education and industry and I am delighted that this is happening at SODA, as we work together to position Greater Manchester as the key location for businesses seeking a skilled digital workforce to invest outside of London.”

Speaking at the launch event, Lord Mandelson told guests that 80% of new advertised jobs now require digital skills.

“That’s why this school is so important, so relevant and so empowering for this city and this region,” he said.

“We are in a school that is literally dedicated to the future.

“And believe me, digital technology is absolutely key to our future prosperity as a country.

“That’s why it’s so important for Manchester to be in the lead, and for Manchester to become the digital and creative hub of our country.

“That’s the trajectory you’re on and that’s why it’s so exciting to be here.”

John C. Dent