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