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Revised plans for St. John’s Factory arts venue approved

Factory, the new permanent home for the Manchester International Festival (MIF) has received approval from Manchester City Council for revised plans put forward by OMA. The £111.6M flexible arts space is being backed by Allied London in partnership with the City Council and will be built at St. John’s, Manchester’s newest city centre neighbourhood. The development is located on the former site of the Old Granada Studios.

The revised plans for Factory include an improvement to the appearance of the building’s façade and an appropriately scaled orchestral pit. It is being designed by Rem Koolhaas’s Dutch practice, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). Koolhaas is known for his projects that redefine contemporary architecture, including the vast Seattle Central Library. The 13,750m² Factory scheme will be the first major public building project in the UK for OMA.

Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, 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.”

He added: “The Factory will help take this to a whole new level and open up a new chapter in Manchester’s history of innovation. Not only will people no longer need to move to London for the best cultural and creative roles, it will give audiences from around the country and even the world another great reason to head here.”

The original plans for the development were approved in January 2017. Factory is set to open to the public in September 2020.

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