New Arts Venue Architect, Theatre Building, St John’s quarter, English Cultural Architecture

Factory Theatre Manchester

Former Granada TV studios site, Northwest England, UK: Architects

The Factory Manchester Arts Building – 25 Nov 2015

28 Jul 2015

Factory Theatre Manchester Building Design

Search launched for architect for Manchester’s £110m Factory

Council announces £9.5m design tender for major new arts venue

28th July 2015 – Manchester’s £110m Factory Theatre takes a big step forward with architects set to be appointed

Architects for Manchester’s new £110m Factory Theatre will soon be appointed.

The massive arts venue – to be built on the former site of Granada’s TV studios – was announced by the Chancellor in autumn 2014, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Factory Theatre in Manchester:
Factory Theatre Manchester

Most of its cost will be covered by a government grant of £78m but much of the rest will have to be picked up by Manchester City Council. It plans to submit a £7m Arts Council bid in 2016 and also hopes for other donations. Significant council capital funding is likely to come from the sale of council land and property.

Work is due to start in 2017, with the opening ceremony scheduled for July 2019.

High-profile arts organisations including the Halle orchestra (Manchester), Sadler’s Wells (London), Paris Opera and Ballet and the Melbourne Festival are all expected to generate shows and exhibitions.

Recruiting the designers and architects for the theatre will begin this Friday, 31st of July. The successful contractor is expected to be appointed in mid-November 2015.

The theatre is named after Tony Wilson’s Factory Records and is intended to be the focus of a new creative neighbourhood near Spinningfields.

A study of existing major arts organisations in the city concluded that there was a ‘demonstrable need for a large scale arts space’ that could draw audiences from further afield in the way Manchester Arts Festival does every two years. Events will also include pop concerts, conferences and TV, filming and rehearsal space.

The theatre will sit at the heart of the new St John’s quarter, being developed by Allied London, which is intended to create a new creative neighbourhood in the city – as well as six skyscrapers, potentially bigger than the Beetham tower.

Website: Factory Theatre Manchester

The full construction and fit out of The Factory Manchester will now be £110m – £32m more than originally thought, reports

Former Granada Studios in Manchester – interior:
Granada Studios Manchester

The significance of The Factory cannot be overstated.

To put that in perspective, for £110m you could also buy the Bridgewater Hall (£42m), the Imperial War Museum North (£28.5m), HOME (£25m) and the Whitworth Gallery refurbishment (£15m).

Alternatively, you could block off 30.8 more public alleyways in Manchester with those £3.57m Library Walk carbuncles.
The government pledged £78m to the new arts centre back in December 2014. The Council will be responsible for securing the remaining £32m.

“This won’t only be unlike any other arts facility in the UK,” said Manchester City Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese, said during a launch event, “The Factory will be unlike anywhere else in the world.”

The new estimate for the world-beating arts space at the heart of Allied London’s proposed £1.5bn St John’s Quarter was today (Wednesday 22 July) revealed in a new report to go before Manchester City Council’s Executive on Wednesday 29 July.

Old Granada Studios Manchester:
Old Granada Studios Manchester

Manchester is now the third most visited city in the UK behind London and Edinburgh.

The Factory will also become the new base of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) – which recently wrapped up its fifth biennial festival in the city. “We will combine the best arts festival in the world with the best new arts space in the world,” said incoming MIF Director, John McGrath. “We’ll allow artists to do what they can’t do anywhere else, but also be a place of learning, or training and education.”

Leese continued: “The significance of The Factory cannot be overstated. It will be internationally significant, the cultural anchor for the next phase of economic and cultural regeneration in Manchester, Greater Manchester and beyond. It will help power Manchester and the wider region towards becoming a genuine cultural and economic counterbalance to London.”
A planning application will be submitted in May 2016. Construction work should begin in January 2017 with The Factory due to open in July 2019.

Last week, Arts Council England executive director of arts and culture Simon Mellor was named project director for The Factory.

Website: Factory Arts Venue Manchester

Address: Old Granada Studios, QUAY House, Quay St, Manchester M3 3JE
Phone: 07740 197227

Location: Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3JE, Northwest England, UK

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