MANCH­ESTER MAT­TERS

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AGROUND break­ing event with a dif­fer­ence has taken place to mark the start of work on The Fac­tory – Manch­ester’s brand new iconic arts build­ing.

Manch­ester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val artist Lau­rie An­der­son de­vised a spe­cial per­for­mance for the cer­e­mony, com­bin­ing mu­sic and spo­ken word.

The new flag­ship cul­tural venue for the north has been de­signed by world lead­ing ar­chi­tects Of­fice for axs.com — tick­et­mas­ter.co.uk — gold­en­voice.co.uk Met­ro­pol­i­tan Ar­chi­tec­ture (OMA), and will be OMA’s first ma­jor pub­lic build­ing in the UK.

Due to open in 2020, The Fac­tory will cap­ture the ex­tra­or­di­nary creative vi­sion and breadth of Manch­ester’s cul­tural life.

It will of­fer au­di­ences the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy, in a new world-class fa­cil­ity, the broad­est range of art forms and cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences – in­clud­ing dance, the­atre, mu­sic, opera, vis­ual arts, pop­u­lar cul­ture and in­no­va­tive con­tem­po­rary work in­cor­po­rat­ing mul­ti­ple me­dia and tech­nolo­gies.

The new build­ing will be sit­u­ated in Al­lied Lon­don’s new St John’s neigh­bour­hood, for­merly home to Granada TV.

Artist Lau­rie An­der­son was joined at the launch event by John Glen MP, Min­is­ter for Arts, Her­itage and Tourism; Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manch­ester city coun­cil; Sir Ni­cholas Serota, chair of Arts Coun­cil Eng­land; Tom Blox­ham, chair of Manch­ester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val; and OMA ar­chi­tects Rem Kool­haas and Ellen van Loon.

John Glen MP said: “The Fac­tory will be a truly world-class cul­tural venue for the whole of the north to en­joy. The gov­ern­ment’s £78m in­vest­ment is help­ing to de­liver this fan­tas­tic project for the North­ern Pow­er­house that will boost jobs, vis­i­tor num­bers and cham­pion arts and cul­ture across the re­gion. The vi­sion, am­bi­tion and in­no­va­tion of The Fac­tory is in­spi­ra­tional and I am ex­cited to see it de­velop in the com­ing years.”

The eco­nomic im­pact of The Fac­tory will be con­sid­er­able, cre­at­ing or sup­port­ing 1,500 full-time jobs, and ad­ding £1.1 bil­lion to Manch­ester’s econ­omy over a decade. ●

Manch­ester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val will be the op­er­a­tor of the venue as well as con­tin­u­ing to de­liver the fes­ti­val ev­ery two years.

Sir Richard Leese said: “This is an his­toric mo­ment in the cre­ation of what will be a ma­jor new cul­tural as­set.

“Not only will the range, scope and scale of cul­tural op­por­tu­ni­ties The Fac­tory will pro­vide be un­ri­valled un­der one roof, the im­pact it is set to have on arts ed­u­ca­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of creative and tech­ni­cal tal­ent will be both unique and sig­nif­i­cant.

“It’s what the arts world has been wait­ing for.”

Artist Lau­rie An­der­son gives a Ground-Break­ing per­for­mance

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