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.
One of the biggest developments of its kind in Europe, The Factory is being commissioned by Manchester City Council and will be the permanent home of Manchester International Festival (MIF). MIF 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.
Over the last two days, the massive proscenium truss, which will form part of the 1,600 capacity auditorium, has been installed.
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.
It also comes in the same week as the publication of the independent evaluation report into this year’s MIF, which shows that the biennial festival had an economic impact of £50m for the city. As well as running The Factory, MIF will continue to present the festival every other year at locations across Manchester.
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.
John McGrath, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Manchester International Festival and The Factory said: “It’s been really exciting to see The Factory taking shape over the last few months. It’s going to play an important role in the life of the city, commissioning extraordinary artistic work and offering the biggest of welcomes for people from across Manchester and far beyond.”
The Factory @ St. John’s, Manchester
Due to open 2021