Sound studio

Manchester’s iconic music venue will host a new gaming and sound technology university

Exciting plans have been unveiled to turn part of an iconic Manchester location into a specialist high-tech college. The New Century Hall, once home to artists like Tina Turner and Jimi Hendrix, is undergoing a major £10million makeover, including an 800+ seat concert hall and a food hall.

Today, one of the nation’s leading technical colleges confirmed plans to open a new campus at New Century Hall, specializing in sound and gaming technology. The dBs Institute of Sound and Digital Technologies hopes to launch its new program this fall.

This comes at a crucial time for Manchester’s tech and gaming sectors, with the city recently named the second most attractive location for tech investment outside of London. The digital technology sector employed over 100,000 people in Manchester in 2019.

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dBs says the new facility will provide a “strong stream of talented graduates” to add to Manchester’s digital workforce. Thirty new jobs will also be created.

Nige Burt, Founder of dBs, said: “For years there has been a common misconception that careers in audio and gaming shouldn’t be taken seriously and are sometimes seen as nothing more than “a creative, extra-curricular hobby, rather than a viable career path. But the truth is, while they are indeed creative, there is another hugely technical side to these types of classes that is often overlooked.

“That’s why the dBs Institute exists – to demystify degrees in this field and to give students who are serious about audio and gaming the best start to their careers. With all of this in mind, Manchester was the obvious choice to open a north campus for our students.

“The city is recognized as a music hotspot across the world and the game development scene is also thriving, so a base here will open up many windows of opportunity for our students and hopefully provide them with fantastic pathways to employment after graduation is what we are as an institution.

Rather than “hanging renaming” like a carrot to college students, dBs says it’s focused on helping them discover and thrive on what they love about college. A company spokesperson added: ” It is these experiences that allow dBs students to continue to find jobs in their areas of specialization after graduation and ultimately build lasting careers in the industry.”

The college says it will offer deeply specialized courses, constantly updated equipment and technology, and highly qualified tutors with industry experience. It is set to open in the basement of New Century Hall, following a renovation by Sheila Bird Studio.

Before opening in September, students can enjoy an industry insider panel in May, an open house in June, and a “Digital Pole” in line. For more information, visit