The Factory reaches major construction milestone

The Factory has reached a major construction milestone as Manchester is named the second most creative city in Europe.

This week sees a significant milestone in the construction of The Factory, the landmark new cultural venue, currently being developed in Manchester city centre.

One of the biggest developments of its kind in Europe, The Factory is being commissioned by Manchester City Council and will be our permanent home. We will present a year-round programme, featuring artists from around the world, as well as bringing jobs and skills and training opportunities for people from across the city.

Since the start of the year, The Factory’s structure has been becoming increasingly visible at its site, at the heart of the new St John’s development on the former Granada Studios, including an imposing steel frame, stairways, lift shafts and a structure that will house lifts capable of bringing two articulated trucks up into the building from street level.

Over the last two days, the massive proscenium truss, which will form part of the 1,600 capacity auditorium, has been installed. Weighing 125 tonnes, this huge steel structure has been designed by the structural engineers Buro Happold and constructed by the Bury based firm William Hare Limited. The auditorium forms part of the major new complex, which will include a 5,000 capacity space and is designed by international architectural practice Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) to be one of the most flexible buildings of its kind.

This construction milestone comes as Manchester is named the second most creative city in Europe (after London), with a GVA of £1.4bn to the city from culture and creative industries**.

It also comes in the same week as the publication of the independent evaluation report into this year’s Festival, which shows an economic impact of £50m for the city. As well as running The Factory, we will continue to present the Festival every other year at locations across Manchester.

The Factory is already making a difference to the lives of local people through jobs and apprenticeships during construction, and skills and development opportunities such as The Factory Academy – a brand new training and apprenticeship programme designed to help people from all backgrounds develop careers in the creative industries.

Established by MIF and backed by a consortium of leading arts organisations, The Factory Academy will help develop the next generation of technicians, producers and arts professionals working in a sector that is now worth more than £100 billion to the economy nationally.

The Factory is the first major, permanent cultural building in the UK designed by OMA, which was founded by Rem Koolhaas. Laing O’Rourke are leading the construction of the development.

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