Revised plans approved for new cultural venue in Manchester, UK


Manchester City Council’s planning committee has approved the amended design for the arts building, named Guggenheim of the North, which is planned to be built in the heart of Manchester, UK.

The cultural venue, which is claimed to be one of the largest purpose-built cultural spaces in the world, is expected to add £1.1bn to the city’s economy over a decade and create 1,500 full-time jobs.

The Factory, named in honor of music label Factory Records, is expected to attract audiences of up to 850,000 a year from across the world.

Designed by Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) architect Rem Koolhaas, the building will feature two main spaces including a 5,000-capacity warehouse and an auditorium for audiences of up to 2,000.

Depending on the work being presented, the two spaces in the building can be combined, and also reduced in size.

Additionally, the building will comprise public spaces inside and outside, including a new square and a riverside setting.

Manchester International Festival artistic director and CEO John McGrath said: “The Factory will provide space for the greatest artists from around the world to create work of extraordinary ambition and scale, work they always dreamed of making. It builds on the city’s brilliant heritage as a centre for production, for radical ideas and for doing things a bit differently.

“It firmly underpins Manchester’s reputation as an internationally important city for culture, creativity and technology.”

Laing O’Rourke has been selected as the main contractor for the project, which is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “Culture and creativity have a critical role to play in Manchester’s future success – not just by inspiring ideas and imaginations but through creating opportunities and jobs.

“The Factory will help take this to a whole new level and open up a new chapter in Manchester’s history of innovation.”


Image: An Illustration of the proposed cultural building in Manchester. Photo: courtesy of Manchester City Council.

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