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Architect sought for Manchester’s new £110m arts venue

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Manchester City Council (MCC) is seeking an architect for its new £110 million flexible art space named The Factory

Announced in last year’s Autumn Statement, the project will receive more than £75million from central government and forms part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative to transform Manchester and its wider region into a ‘cultural and economic counterbalance’ to the capital.

Planned to complete in 2019, the 2,200-capacity venue will be constructed on the former Granada Studios site within the city centre. The cost for the full construction and fit out will be £110 million.

The winning team will work with MCC and Allied London – the council’s development partner for the television centre regeneration – to develop the scheme.

The arena is expected to become the new home of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and will have a capacity for 2,200 seated observers or 5,000 standing guests.

It is named after Factory Records which started in Manchester in 1978 and promoted a raft of influential bands including Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays.

According to a statement from the council: ‘The Factory will be a unique, wholly different to the range of current arts venues within Manchester and the wider region.’

The statement continued: ‘As a major production centre for the North, it will commission original works, working in partnership with leading national and international organisations to deliver MIF-style events all year round. It will bring the very best artists from around the world to northern England and attract new and diverse audiences to see their work.’

Manchester City Council leader Richard Leese said: ‘This will be a high profile, challenging project for an ultra-flexible arts space in a building unique to the UK.

‘We are looking for architects with the experience and expertise to meet a demanding technical brief and manage a full design team.’

Ian Simpson won a competition to design the commercial and residential elements of the 370,000m² Granada Studios regeneration job – dubbed St. John’s – last summer.

The winner of the latest £9.5 million design contract is expected to be announced in mid-November.

The appointed architect will lead a design team featuring mechanical and electrical consultants, structural and civil engineers, a quantify surveyor, fire engineer, theatre consultant and acoustic engineer.

A planning application will be submitted by May next year with construction expected to commence in January 2017.

[The deadline for requests to participate is 26 August]

How to apply

Further details to be announced on Friday 24 July [9XKD-894WS0: TC818 - Provision of Design Services Lots 1 -7 for the Factory Development, Manchester]





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