Contact, the Manchester arts charity and theatre, has secured £3.85million in funding from Arts Council England towards the refurbishment of their Oxford Road premises.
The funding will go to a £6.5million transformation project which will see Contact close for a year from April 2017; to introduce new facilities and improve access.
The changes will also improve the building’s environmental performance, and revamp the technical infrastructure.
Matt Fenton, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Contact, said: “The revitalised Contact will provide an enriched environment for audiences of all ages to experience our innovative and diverse public events programme, whilst the year out of the building will offer fantastic opportunities to experience the quality and breadth of Contact productions across Greater Manchester”.
The plans for the refurbishment have been designed by award-winning architects Sheppard Robson, and include an expanded cafe along with new performance and community spaces.
The funding comes as part of the capital funding project from Arts Council England, which is being aimed at consolidating existing arts infrastructure and developing digital infrastructure.
Alison Clark, Director North and National Director, Combined Arts, Arts Council England said: “This investment in Contact will enable it to improve its facilities and increase its engagement with audiences and young people.
“It will also help further strengthen Contact’s national role as a centre of excellence for the development of young leaders in the arts”.
Contact originally opened in 1965 as The University Theatre, before re-focussing in 1999 to put young people at the heart of decision-making.
TNT Arts & Culture