The Factory

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Image courtesy of The Factory

The Factory, St Johns, Manchester, M3 3JE – Visit Now

The Factory – Manchester International Festival’s new permanent home – is getting ever closer to completion. Costing an eye-watering £168m, the venue is set to reshape the city’s cultural output and standing, while hoping to attract 850,000 people a year to the city and bring in £1.1bn to the economy over a decade.

Its name a less-than-subtle nod to Tony Wilson’s exalted record label, The 7,000-capacity Factory is being built on the site of the old Granada TV studios, where it will host theatre, concerts and exhibitions from major national and international names. Promising “one of Europe’s most ambitious and adventurous year-round creative programmes”, the venue will house a 2,200-seat theatre and what is promised as an “immersive artistic environment with a standing capacity of 5,000.” Both will apparently be ultra-flexible, enabling large-scale artistic work that isn’t made anywhere else, premiered in Manchester before travelling the world.

The Factory under construction, image by Pawel Paniczko.

 

Alongside its artistic programming, The Factory is set to become a training centre for people in pursuit of careers in the creative industry. Delivered by Manchester International Festival, the Factory Academy will offer local residents the opportunity to gain expertise working alongside world-leading creatives, with apprenticeships for budding producers, technicians, and arts marketeers on the cards. There will also be opportunities for local artists to develop and grow, with the venue making plans to work with communities and involve them as artistic collaborators in participatory projects and productions.

Out of all the exciting new openings on the North’s horizon, The Factory is one in particular that the culturally curious have their eye on. 2023 is the current due date. Finger’s crossed!

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
MFDF 2022
Festivals Until 2 October 2022,

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2022

Cinema Until 3 October 2022, from £9.95

Not Just Bollywood at HOME

Music Until 5 October 2022, from £5.50

Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 8 October 2022, from £10.00

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange

Women in Comedy Festival 2022
Comedy Until 10 October 2022, from £3.00

Women in Comedy Festival 2022

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 26 October 2022, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Illustration entitled ‘Because you cannot tame something so happily wild’ by Emily Hughes showing painted animals in a woodland setting
Exhibitions Until 30 October 2022, FREE

Picture This at The Lowry

vegan super club
Activity Until 25 November 2022, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

autumn season at z-arts
Families Until 30 December 2022, FREE

Autumn season at Z-arts

skyliner
Activity Until 31 December 2022, from £9

Skyliner: Alternative Tours of Manchester