Here you can find access information about Aviva Studios to help you plan your visit.

As a brand new venue, we’re working hard to get all our access facilities up and running, but there are still a few teething issues that mean we’re not quite there yet.

We know that having as much information as possible is essential for helping to plan your visit so we’ll do our best to ensure we share the current status of facilities as clearly as possible. We welcome all feedback as we work to be able to meet everyone’s access requirements.

If you have a question that isn’t covered here or specific access needs that aren’t yet addressed, please get in touch on access@factoryinternational.org or call us on 0161 817 4531 and we’ll do our best to help. Phone lines are open 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Location

The full address of the venue is Aviva Studios, Water Street, Manchester, M3 4JQ and what3words is chop.feeds.chase.

Access

Aviva Studios is a new purpose-built cultural space in the heart of Manchester. The building has two main flexible performance spaces, the Warehouse and the Hall. On the ground floor as you come in, there is a large public space called the Social. The building is linked to our neighbours the Science and Industry Museum by the historic brick arches between our two sites.

The configuration of our building is flexible, so you might find that the Hall and the Warehouse are laid out differently from one visit to the next. We will always provide detailed access information about how the space will be set up for the event you are attending. You can find this information on the What’s On page for each event.

You can approach Aviva Studios along Water Street (coming from Quay Street) or along Liverpool Road (coming from Deansgate or Castlefield). Both entrances to the building have double sets of glass doors.

Once inside Aviva Studios, there is step-free access to all areas of the venue. The flooring throughout the building is smooth concrete.

The entrance to the Hall is by lift, escalator or stairs from one side of the Social beside the brick arches. There is only one escalator, and this will take you up to the Hall before the show, and will be reversed so that you can travel down at the end of the performance.

The entrance to the Warehouse is by lift or stairs from the Social. Two lifts and a staircase to the Warehouse are located in the Social opposite the bar.

The Social has a range of seating, including those with arms and backs.

The bars in the Social and Hall Foyer have lowered accessible service points.

Our building is large. We have portable stools available to borrow if you would benefit from resting along the way during your visit.

We have wheelchair spaces and seats at standing events for all events.

There are accessible toilets on all public levels of our building.

Accessible toilets are located inside the main toilets space in the brick arches of the Social.

Here you’ll find a mixture of accessible cubicles with left- or right-hand transfer, towards the back of the space, as well as ambulant accessible cubicles with grab rails, as well as a Changing Places facility.

The toilets in the brick arches of the Social are split into male, female and gender neutral – all of which contain accessible cubicles. There are shared handwashing facilities in each arch – they have soap dispensers under the mirrors to your left and dryers to the right. There are separate handwashing facilities inside the accessible cubicles.

There are additional single-room accessible toilets located in both Hall Foyers, at stalls and circle level.

There are additional single-room accessible toilets located in the Warehouse Foyer.

You do not need a key to use the accessible toilets at Aviva Studios.

There is step-free access to all areas of the venue, with lift access to the Warehouse from the Social, and lift and escalator access to the Hall from the Social. The escalator leading to the Hall foyers usually works in the direction of audience flow, so it will take you up before the performance, and the same escalator will bring you down at the interval or at the end of the show.

For standing gigs and shows in our Warehouse space, we provide an accessible viewing platform with wheelchair spaces, and seating for those who need it. Our current set up for most shows is that we will have two accessible viewing platforms available for anyone who needs a wheelchair space or a seat for access reasons. AVP 1 is a small, lower platform with ramp access, which is located to one side of the room closer to the stage area – this has limited capacity. The second, larger capacity AVP 2 is located towards the back of the Warehouse – it is higher above the crowd and will be staffed throughout the night. This platform has dedicated bar service. If you would like more information about accessible seating options for a specific show, please call 0161 817 4531 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm) or email access@factoryinternational.org and we’ll be happy to talk it through. Access bookings can be made by email or phone, or by popping into our venue (Tuesday-Sunday, 10am to 9pm).

We provide British Sign Language interpretation and BSL-led tours across our programme of produced work. You’ll find the dates of all our BSL performances on our Access Performances page and on the booking pages for individual shows. You can book a BSL user ticket for our BSL performances – these are usually positioned in our recommended seats for best view of the interpreter.

We provide captioning (usually open captioning) across our programme of produced work. You’ll find the dates of all our captioned performances on our Access Performances page and on the booking pages for individual shows. You can book a caption user ticket for our captioned performances – these are usually positioned in our recommended seats for best view of the captioning.

We provide audio description across our programme of produced work – this can be live description via a headset, pre-recorded description, or live in-person audio described tours, depending on the artwork. Wherever possible, audio description will be accompanied by a touch tour for attendees to explore the tactile elements of an artwork or show. You’ll find the dates of all our audio described performances on our Access Performances page and on the booking pages for individual shows. You can book an AD user ticket for our audio described performances – this will also ensure you can attend the touch tour (although you don’t have to), and collect a headset to listen to the description if needed.

Right now, we are working hard to get our assisted listening / induction loops system up and running as soon as possible, but unfortunately it's not currently ready to use. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working to resolve this.

Audio description is still available for certain event via headsets provided by our team. Further information will be provided to audio description ticket holders closer to the event. Please email access@factoryinternational.org if you have any enquiries and we’ll be happy to help.

We are working hard to get our assisted listening / induction loops system up and running as soon as possible, but unfortunately it is not currently ready to use. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working to resolve this.

Audio description is available for certain event via headsets provided by our team. Further information will be provided to audio description ticket holders closer to the event. Please email access@factoryinternational.org if you have any enquiries and we'll be happy to help.

We offer relaxed performances or sessions across out programme of produced work – the format of this varies, but usually includes adjusted sound and lighting levels, adjusted special effects, and a relaxing of the ‘rules’ of coming to an event, so people are welcome to wriggle, move, stim, or respond in any way that is natural for them. At some relaxed performances we have a smaller audience capacity too. We create What To Expect Guides for our relaxed shows, which tell you what to expect in advance. You can find these to download on the event page, and there will be copies available in the building when you arrive for the show. If you would like more information about what to expect at a particular event, or when visiting Aviva Studios in general, you can call 0161 817 4531 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm) or email access@factoryinternational.org and we’ll be happy to talk it through.

We will soon have a dedicated quiet space in the building, but it’s not quite ready yet. In the meantime, our Hosts will do their best to help you find spaces to take a break or step out of a show if you need to. We’re creating designated quiet spaces for specific events, though this isn’t always possible depending on the type of event.

Assistance dogs are welcome in our building, and we can provide mats and water bowls on request, just ask a host when you arrive. We can also take care of your assistance dog if you do not want to take your dog into the performance space. Please also refer to our assistance dogs policy.

If you are bringing an assistance dog to a ticketed event, please let us know in advance by contacting access@factoryinternational.org or calling our access phone number: 0161 817 4531 (phone lines are open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

You are welcome to bring and use medication as needed at our building. If you are have any questions or concerns about this, please contact access@factoryinternational.org or call us on 0161 817 4531. Our phone lines are open 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

If you need to bring medically-prescribed cannabis into the venue, please get in touch with access@factoryinternational.org or call 0161 817 4531 (10am to 5pm Monday to Friday) so that we can make appropriate arrangements to meet your needs.

Please note that we are unable to take cash payments at our retail or ticketing units currently. We appreciate that this may be an access barrier for some people, and we intend to start taking cash payments as soon as practically possible in the building. Thank you for your patience on this.

Please note there are digital screens in the Social which sometimes show fast moving images.

Travel information

Our closest stations are:

Salford Central station: 0.4 miles

Deansgate station and Deansgate-Castlefield tram: 0.6 miles

St Peter’s Square tram: 0.6 miles

Manchester Victoria station is approximately one mile from the venue

Manchester Piccadilly station is approximately 1.3 miles from the venue

Click on the links above to find detailed access information for each station.

Free bus services stop at all city-centre stations, and near to the venue along Deansgate, Bridge St and Quay St. Buses on these free routes are wheelchair accessible. For full details of the free bus routes, please visit the TfGM website.

There is a car park approximately 0.6 miles from the event entrance at Water Street Car Park, New Elm Rd, Manchester, M3 4JH.

There are also a small number of Blue Badge spaces along Water St and Quay St. Otherwise head towards Liverpool Road, Great John St and Lower Byrom St – close to our neighbours, the Science and Industry Museum where there are a small number of additional Blue Badge spaces.

For a list of other parking bays available in the area, visit Manchester City Council website.

Resources

Further information

For a full map of accessible parking bays in Manchester city centre, please visit the Manchester City Council website.

For a map of Changing Places toilet facilities in Manchester city centre please visit the Changing Places website.

We will be updating and adding further access information in the coming months.

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