Manchester City Council’s expected contribution to the new arts venue, The Factory, is expected to rise to an extra £18.87m, bringing its total investment up to £40.57m. The Council, who will be providing around a third of The Factory’s total construction price, have attributed the increased cost to rising construction inflation rates, accounting for £5.5m of the increase.
Despite the soaring costs, Sir Richard Leese, the Leader of Manchester City Council, stressed the importance of the buildings’ cultural aspects “playing a crucial role in the economy and wider life of the city”, adding that The Factory will be “game-changing”.
Although the City revised their contribution to the construction of The Factory, the majority of its funding will still come from national sources. For example, the Treasury have agreed to an investment of £78.05m. In addition, a further £7m from the Arts Council will take central funding up to £85.05m if approved in January 2019.
The Factory will take on the role of an all-encompassing creative space in the city centre, and provide an adequate environment for a diverse range of creative and performing arts genres.
The 5000 capacity venue will have room for major concerts and art installations, as well as more intimate performances and immersive theatre. The Factory will also play a significant role in the 2021 Manchester International Festival, whose CEO and artistic director, John McGrath, believes will “strengthen Manchester’s global reputation as a world class centre for culture.”
Thanks to the expected 850,000 visitors a year, the new build will not only be a positive development for the city’s creatives. It is also set to deliver a £1.1 billion increase to Manchester’s economy over a decade as well as creating 1,500 jobs over the same period, adding to an estimated 6000 jobs in the wider St John’s creative neighbourhood, formally known as to Granda TV.
Construction for The Factory is due to come to an end in late 2020.