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.
Tyson Fury calls Usyk and Joshua ‘s***houses’ and doubts AJ fight will happen
Tyson Fury is at it again on social media, blasting both Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk after the latter suggested he was “afraid” of him.
While Fury is beginning preparations for his fight against AJ due to be held this December, Usyk attempted to rattle the Gypsy King’s cage in the meantime.
Speaking in an interview on his YouTube channel, the Ukrainian said, “Despite his toughness and how he is generally described, he is afraid. Yes, of me.” It didn’t take long for Tyson to respond in kind:
As you can see, the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight spends nearly a full minute shouting expletives, calling Usyk a “little s***house and a ‘little s***bag” before warning, “I’ll put my fist right through the side of you, you little sausage.”
Rubbishing the suggestion he is scared and dishing out some trash talk of his own, Fury then goes on to call out another “s***house”, as he puts it, labelling Joshua a “big bodybuilder” rather than a boxer and suggesting that he has been delaying signing the contract.
Despite Warren stating that terms would be agreed sometime soon, the long-awaited all-British bout could still be in doubt as we’ve already seen one potential fight disintegrate in the 11th hour.
AJ is coming off back-to-back defeats against Usyk, who he’d no doubt hoped to beat on his way to finally facing Fury. Nevertheless, the WBC champion believes he does want it at all, remarking: “You little sausage, you do not wanna fight, your manager’s a sausage.
The rant continues in a similar vein, with Fury adding: “I’ve never seen anything like yous, both a pack of s***houses.
“However, I will be fighting 3 December if this sausage does not sign the contract, which I don’t think he [will] because I don’t think he’s got the b****cks to, because he’s a s***bag.
It remains to be seen what kind of response Joshua will give and if the fight will finally be locked in. All we know is that it’ll be a big disappointment for fight fans if the match-up falls apart again.
Featured Image – Tyson Fury (via Twitter)
American tourist baffled by Manchester in hilarious TikTok vlog
An American tourist’s chaotic trip to Manchester has gone viral after he documented the whole thing in a TikTok vlog.
Adeib El Masri, a successful LA-based photographer and TikToker with more than a million followers, said that our city was like ‘a different world’.
He has previously been documenting his experiences of visiting London, including several vlogs about the British weather.
Over the course of two days spent up north, Adeib appeared baffled by the concepts of queueing, fairgrounds, and people being nice to each other.
His pair of heart-warming videos have amassed more than half-a-million views at the time of writing.
In the first instalment, Adeib films himself at Manchester Piccadilly, saying: “I’m in Manchester. It looks kind of the same except all the buses are free apparently.”
From his taxi, he adds: “Everyone is so much nicer here, I can already tell.”
He then takes a trip to ‘Trafford Mall’, where his visit to the cruise ship-inspired food court The Orient prompts him to say: “This mall has the most Vegas vibes ever. Like ever.”
On his second TikTok vlog, he praises Manchester for being ‘so pretty’ while walking through Chinatown, and says we have our ‘own Big Ben’ in the Kimpton Clocktower.
Adeib and his friends tried to go for afternoon tea at an undisclosed location, but were turned away for not booking 24 hours in advance (‘very pretentious’, he says) and end up visiting a local Costa instead.
He then documents his trip to a fairground, where everything about the experience seems to delight and confuse him.
He says: “So guess who’s at a carnival! So it’s not a carnival, it’s a parking lot.
“There’s a child running the stands. I’m very confused.
“Moral of the story, check where the funfair is, it could be a parking lot that isn’t a real funfair.”
Fairground disappointment aside, he does concede: “You know what, Manny is a 10 out of 10, d’you know what I mean.”
He later says, on a visit to Dog Bowl: “To save the day I decided to go bowling. Bowling is not available. It’s fine,” before heading to Nando’s.
Once safely back in London, he updated his followers with this: “Manchester was like a different world. Everyone is much nicer, like genuinely out-of-their-way nice, which is bizarre.
“Literally nothing went right in Manchester. I was there for like a day and a half, I almost got deported. Let’s just not get into it.