The UK government has agreed fresh funding of £9 million ($11.7m/€10.2m) per annum towards the “cutting edge” Factory Manchester arts venue planned in the English city.
A large-scale venue that “captures the extraordinary creative vision and depth of Manchester’s cultural life”, The Factory Manchester will be a flagship cultural centre for the North and North West. Located on the former Granada TV site on the border of Manchester city centre and Salford, it will provide an outlet for original works in partnership with leading national and international organisations.
New designs have been released by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), which won an international competition to design The Factory Manchester. It will be the first major public building in the UK for OMA, which has its European office in Rotterdam.
The total budget for The Factory Manchester is estimated to be up to £110m ($142m/€125m), says the Manchester Evening News. The government already pledged £78m in last year’s Autumn Statement. The £9m a year it will contribute between 2018 and 2022 will be put towards running costs. In addition, a lump sum of £7m has been secured from the National Lottery. Manchester City Council will develop the rest of the funding package, including third party support such as public subscription and donations.
The Factory’s creators hope to build on the success of the biennial Manchester International Festival, which runs again this year from June 29 to July 16. Art forms including theatre, music, dance, technology, film, TV and other media will be represented at the venue, along with scientific advancements. Across multiple spaces, it will be capable of hosting audiences of up to 7,000. The project’s name gives a nod towards the seminal Manchester music label Factory Records.
The Factory Manchester will form a part of the wider St John’s neighbourhood being developed by Allied London in partnership with Manchester City Council. The 15-acre development will comprise residential and work space, hotels, independent food and drink, extensive public realm and open green spaces.
Since ITV, which absorbed Granada, left the site, the former studios have hosted a series of concerts and other cultural events. For a limited period, Continuum Attractions operated the old Coronation Street soap opera set as a behind-the-scenes tour while ITV began filming on a new set in Salford.
Images courtesy OMA