The Factory: MIF’s new home

Manchester is to receive £78m to build a new arts space as a permanent home for the Manchester International Festival (MIF), Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

The venue (to be named The Factory) will be built on the former Granada TV studios site in a new creative village based in the Quay Street area of the city, and is expected to open in 2019.

The major launch for the work to get started on the site is taking place Friday 24 July at 8.30am at Old Granada Studios via the Studio 2, entrance on Quay Street.

On the reason behind the name ‘The Factory’, the venue will be paying homage to the city’s legendary Factory Records label. It will be the new internationally-significant arts space for Manchester, Greater Manchester and the north of England which will open in summer 2019.

Details of the tender process for design services, including architects, to deliver this exciting project will be unveiled.

In the plans announced by Mr Osborne in his autumn statement, it was revealed that the venue will hold up to 5,000 people.

Manchester City Council said the government had pledged £78m, which would cover “a large proportion of the anticipated overall project costs”.

The site where the internationally-significant arts space will be built is expected to cost up to £110m. The question is where is the rest of the £32m funding going to come from? TNT will be asking this and other key points at the launch.

A council statement predicted that the building would “play an integral part in helping Manchester and the north of England provide a genuine cultural counterbalance to London”.

MIF, the biennial festival has to date staged major shows and innovative cultural events in existing venues or empty buildings.

Tom Bloxham, MIF chairman said The Factory would be “a new kind of large-scale venue comparable in scale to London’s Coliseum connected to one side of a Tate Modern Turbine Hall-type structure”.

TNT News Yasin Chinembiri

TNT Arts/Culture Yasin Chinembiri

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