That Vast Digital Canopy In A Refurbished Manchester Leisure Complex Has Switched On

March 20, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Photo Credit: SWNS

That big digital ceiling in Manchester, UK has now been switched on, with the re-opening of a refurbished Printworks.

The entertainment and leisure complex went through a £21million upgrade, with the visual centerpiece a 1,000 sq. meter digital canopy – called Printworks SkyLights – that spans the three internal streets and the central courtyard of the complex. Printworks has more than 20 bars, restaurants and leisure venues, including one of the largest IMAX screens in Europe.

The digital ceiling is a custom installation by, who worked with the Manchester animation studio Flipbook to create more 100 pieces of media content that plays out alongside advertising.

Green Hippo media servers drive video, lighting and audio play-out, while content scheduling and triggers are managed through another UK company, Signagelive.

The suspended ceiling is described as one of the thinnest screens in the world, and has a fire rating of zero. Here’s how Adi explains the fire rating:

With the entire venue ceiling to be made up of LED, the project parameters specified an installation that would pass the latest BSEN 13501-1 classification – a set of rules to ensure levels of fire resistance within construction products and building materials.

This type of product didn’t exist, so we decided to make it ourselves! Our MTF tile is based upon a heavily redeveloped version of our innovative MT product family – a next-generation lightweight and slimline product designed specifically with interior architectural applications in mind.

Having gone through two separate round of stringent flammability testing, MTF became the world’s first LED module certified to meet the BSEN 13501-1 classification.

Essentially, this means that – in the event of a fire in the venue – MTF will not contribute to the fire spreading further, nor will it melt and risk injury through dripping materials.

There is also a big LED screen outside at the main entry – an upgrade on a screen that’s been there since 2013.

The advertising inventory is managed and sold by the UK OOH/DOOH firm Ocean Outdoor.

Here’s a look at the launch content.

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