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Plans submitted for new Manchester arts venue

Plans submitted for new Manchester arts venue

A planning application has been submitted for a new arts venue that will lie at the heart of a major mixed-use scheme in central Manchester.

Manchester City Council has lodged its plans for The Factory, a centre for the creative industries that echoes the Factory Records label that became famous in the 'Madchester' musical era of the late 1980s.

It will form part of the St John's development and will be located close to the former Granada Studios, the River Irwell and the Museum of Science and Industry.

The area is being developed by Allied London, with architect OMA designing The Factory. The blueprint for the £110 million centre includes a performance venue that can hold up to 7,300, while a total of £78 million has been pledged by the government towards the project.

It would involve the demolition of the existing Starlight Theatre and other buildings, with the new complex including two public squares known as Festival Square and Factory Square, the foyer, warehouse, theatre and two towers. It will also incorporate bars and offices.

In its statement supporting the application, Deloitte Real Estate said: "The proposals will make an important contribution to the objectives of the Northern Powerhouse, helping the north to rival the economic strength of London, by making Manchester an even more attractive place to live and invest."

The centre could be a "catalyst" for the development of the cultural aspect of the Northern Powerhouse, it added.

Allied London's plans for the St John's development also include offices, a hotel and residential accommodation.

Earlier this year, it sought planning permission to build a new skyscraper on the site of the Granada Studios. At 552 ft in height, it would be just two ft shy of the height of Manchester's current tallest building, the Beetham Tower. It would also be used in the same way, with the lower half being a hotel and the upper part housing luxury apartments.

It will be one of several residential developments in the new neighbourhood, which includes the proposed Trinity Islands 'vertical village' of six interconnected towers.

Image: iStock


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