Cloud hosting provider UKFast has formally launched its new 500-seater auditorium and events space to the community.

The facility includes a 100 sq ft digital screen, full-spec AV and media suite, bar and networking area, breakout spaces and free parking. Users also have the option of support from the UKFast events and media teams.

The recently completed auditorium is location within the 40,000 sq ft extension to the UKFast campus near Manchester Science Park, which the firm expanded into last year.

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UKFast has already hosted a number of community events in the space, including a free cinema club for local children in need of a helping hand and the inaugural UKFast Community and Education Awards, but the space opens to the public in January, with bookings being taken now.

"Despite the huge advances in digital communication, there's still a real demand from the business community for high-quality, well-designed spaces to get together face to face, to meet and to collaborate," said CEO Lawrence Jones.

Jones said UKFast's campus has a long history of hosting business and networking events and said it was "incredibly exciting" to open up new opportunities for clients, the tech industry and the wider community.

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He added: "We were inspired by our original auditorium that was built in the first stage of the development of UKFast Campus. That space had an average of four events a week, so we knew there was a need for it, but we’ve outgrown it and require something truly world class that enables people to run high-quality events without the exorbitant costs.

"We've never charged for our event space in the past, so if customers or charitable organisations have a real need to do something worthwhile then we will always back them."

The event space can be configured in a theatre style to accommodate 500 people, or cabaret style with tables to accommodate up to 150.

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UKFast’s new building is also home to not-for-profit tech initiative Tech Manchester, cybersecurity firm Secarma and the FastForward co-working space, which is host to a growing number of fast-developing technology businesses.

Plans in the pipeline for UKFast Campus include a health-food café and a state-of-the-art recording studio and media centre.

The refurbishment of the entire building is being carried out by UKFast Space.