A breakthrough has come for Manchester’s currently under-construction arts venue as it receives a £21 million Kickstart Fund.
Following ongoing funding worries from increasing construction costs due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, The Factory – a “world-class cultural space” in the heart of the city and the year-round home for Manchester International Festival (MIF) – has successfully been granted £21 million from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England.
The award is from the Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund.
This fund forms part of the government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of the pandemic, and is intended to help offset the string of challenges that have led those mounting costs and project delays.
A total of £120 million of the fund has been allocated specifically to support construction of cultural infrastructure across the UK.
The Factory is backed by Manchester City Council, which invested £20m in the 143,000 sq ft scheme in 2018, the government, from which it has a £78m grant, and the National Lottery, which has provided £7m, and it is predicted to bring a £1.1 billion boost to Manchester’s economy over its first decade alone.
The landmark building is setting out to be one of the largest, most ambitious, and most versatile purpose-built arts spaces in the world.
Having been identified by Manchester City Council to usher in an exciting new chapter of economic recovery, The Factory will present a year-round programme of extraordinary, ground-breaking, and interdisciplinary work by leading artists from across the globe.
Attracting up to 850,000 visitors a year, it will be capable of hosting everything from epic concerts to intimate performances including music, dance, theatre, opera, visual arts, and innovative contemporary work incorporating the latest digital technologies.
It will create and directly support 1,500 new jobs in the city over a decade and help the next generation of creative talent to flourish, offering a programme of backstage training and skills for people living across Manchester.
The ‘Factory Futures’ programme will also benefit up to 10,000 unemployed young people.
As the country moves further out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and consolidates its recovery, The Factory will also bring with it enormous added value to the cultural sector in Manchester and beyond.
The additional opportunities it is set to create for artists and other cultural organisations will also have a significant and positive impact on the wider cultural economy of the region, and will play an important part in helping ensure the continued growth of the UK’s cultural sector as a whole.
Speaking on the latest fund allocation, Sir Richard Leese – Leader of Manchester City Council – said: “This is fantastic news for Manchester and the cultural economy not just of the North but of the whole country.
“After a year that none of us could have foreseen and that has brought with it challenge after challenge and hit the culture sector harder than most, this [funding] will secure the completion of a world-class cultural space that is quite literally going to change lives. We’re extremely grateful to DCMS and Arts Council England for their continued support for The Factory and for the substantial award announced today to help address the unforeseen additional costs and delays on the project due to COVID-19.”
He added: “The Factory is going to redraw the UK cultural map and will do much to bolster Manchester and the North’s credentials as an economic and creative powerhouse to rival not just London, but the rest of Europe and beyond.”
You can find more information about The Factory via the MIF website here.
Watch Ross from The 1975 pull a few pints at Bunny Jackson’s after sold-out Gorilla gig
Following his band’s sellout intimate gig at Gorilla, Ross from The 1975 decided to celebrate like any true rockstar would: by pulling pints behind the bar at Bunny Jackson’s.
Bassist Ross MacDonald has become somewhat of a cult figure in the band of late, with countless fans swooning over him and his understated manner on stage.
He comes across as just a normal, down-to-earth bloke — so much in fact that he could probably slip into your local bar without anyone really noticing. Well, almost.
Yes, after The 1975 wrapped up their much-talked-about charity set for War Child on Wednesday, Ross decided to head round the corner to everyone’s favourite dive bar and surprise some Manc faces by serving up a few drinks. Because why not?
Imagine getting up to order a pint and some wings only to see Ross fromThe 1975 serving you.
The beloved bar and wing spot on Jack Rosenthal Street is packed to the rafters most nights whether there’s a gig on or not, but with arguably one of the biggest bands in the world right now having played literally metres away at Gorilla, there were plenty of punters enjoy their usual rock-heavy playlist.
That being said, while many may have expected the Wilmslow band to come on shuffle at some point, very few of them would have been expecting to see the long-haired heart-throb himself behind the bar.
Again, so unassuming — just a tall guy in a hoody.
Featured Image — Bunny Jackson/The1975 (via Instagram)
‘Grow up’ – Matty Healy urges Oasis to ‘stop messing around’ and reunite
Matty Healy has urged Oasis to “stop messing around” and get back together in a new interview.
In a video that’s already amassing tens of thousands of views online, the frontman of Manchester-based indie pop rock band, The 1975, has made his thoughts on the feuding Gallagher brothers known during an in-depth interview with on Q with Tom Power from Canadian broadcaster CBC this week.
During the interview, the 33-year-old singer touched on everything from the process of making the band’s latest record, 2022’s critically-acclaimed Being Funny in a Foreign Language, to his onstage antics, and why he’s decided to embrace sincerity and being earnest – but that doesn’t seem to be the main take-away of Manchester music fans.
It’s his opinion of iconic Britpop band Oasis that’s really got people talking.
In what he called a “public service announcement”, Healy claimed Oasis are still “the coolest band in the world” but questioned what the Gallagher brothers are playing at by continuing to fight with each other after all these years.
Telling them to “grow up”, Healy urged Liam and Noel to “get back together and stop messing around”.
Healy told the interviewer: “What are Oasis doing? Can you imagine being in potentially, right now, still the coolest band in the world, and not doing it because you’re in a mard with your brother? I can deal with them dressing like they’re in their twenties but being in their fifties, but acting like they’re in their twenties?
“They need to grow up.”
Healy continued: “Stop marding. They’re men of the people, and they’re sat around in, like, Little Venice and Highgate crying over an argument with their brother.
“Grow up. Headline Glastonbury. Have a good time. Have a laugh.”
The Wilmslow lad also took a second to speak on the popularity of both the Gallagher brothers’ post-Oasis solo projects and endeavours, and claimed fans aren’t as interested in seeing Liam Gallagher or Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds live as they would be going to an Oasis gig.
“There is not one person going to a High Flying Birds gig or a Liam Gallagher gig that would not rather be at an Oasis gig,” Healy claimed.
“There is not one person.
“Not one person is there going, ‘you know what? I loved Definitely Maybe, but my favourite thing is f***ing Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’.”