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UK’s largest cultural investment in a generation opens doors in Manchester

A major cultural attraction has opened its doors in Manchester, with the £210m Aviva Studios representing the largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000




Aviva Studios opens with a Matrix-inspired immersive performance called Free Your Mind   Credit: Tristram Kenton

One of the largest investments in the history of UK culture has opened its doors in Manchester, with the £210m (US$254m, €240m) Aviva Studios set to add £1.1bn (US$1.3bn, €1.2bn) to the city’s economy over the next decade.

The new home of Factory International - the organisation which runs the Manchester International Festival - the development has been supported by Manchester City Council, the British government and the National Lottery via Arts Council England, and represents the largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is behind the venue’s design, which is set up as a landmark global destination for arts, music and culture. Covering 13,350sq m (144,000sq ft) the building is based around large, open, flexible spaces that can be constantly reconfigured, enabling artists to create large-scale ambitious works, while providing a space to explore and experiment.

Inside, the building’s 21m (68ft) warehouse venue has capacity for up to 5,000 people and can be divided by a movable, full-height acoustic wall. Meanwhile its hall features a flexible stage and can house an audience of up to 1,603 seated or 2,000 standing. The warehouse and hall can also work together as one unit.

The venue opens with Free Your Mind - a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix that features 50 professional dancers and is a dramatic reimagining of the classic 1999 sci-fi film.

Directed by Danny Boyle and taking place through the venue, the immersive work features a score from renowned composer Michael Asante, set design by world-leading artist and designer Es Devlin and the work of acclaimed writer Sabrina Mahfouz.

“I’m so excited and proud to be welcoming audiences to the official opening of our magnificent new home,” said John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive of Factory International.

“Our official opening production, the Matrix-inspired Free Your Mind has been created especially for this moment by an incredible team, alongside an extraordinary mix of dancers, creatives and local participants, and is uniquely designed to showcase the versatility and ambition of the space.”

In addition to Free Your Mind under management of Factory International, Aviva Studios will host a year-round programme of original productions and special events across all artforms - from major exhibitions and concerts to intimate performances and immersive experiences.

Aviva Studios also features its Factory Academy, which will become a major training centre for the creative workforce of the future, providing opportunities for careers in creative industries and opportunities for artists from the North of England, particularly those most underrepresented in the sector.

“From dance and theatre to concerts and exhibitions, there will be something for everyone at this state-of-the-art new venue, which was made possible through nearly £100m (US$121.1m, €114.6m) of government funding,” said Britain’s culture secretary, Lucy Frazer.

“Aviva Studios will maximise the potential of the creative industries in Manchester and beyond, creating opportunities for local talent and bringing more world-class culture to the city. The government's support for this venue demonstrates our commitment to increasing access to arts and creativity across the country and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it brings to Manchester, both culturally and economically.”


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UK’s largest cultural investment in a generation opens doors in Manchester | Planet Attractions
news

UK’s largest cultural investment in a generation opens doors in Manchester

A major cultural attraction has opened its doors in Manchester, with the £210m Aviva Studios representing the largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000




Aviva Studios opens with a Matrix-inspired immersive performance called Free Your Mind   Credit: Tristram Kenton

One of the largest investments in the history of UK culture has opened its doors in Manchester, with the £210m (US$254m, €240m) Aviva Studios set to add £1.1bn (US$1.3bn, €1.2bn) to the city’s economy over the next decade.

The new home of Factory International - the organisation which runs the Manchester International Festival - the development has been supported by Manchester City Council, the British government and the National Lottery via Arts Council England, and represents the largest investment in a national cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is behind the venue’s design, which is set up as a landmark global destination for arts, music and culture. Covering 13,350sq m (144,000sq ft) the building is based around large, open, flexible spaces that can be constantly reconfigured, enabling artists to create large-scale ambitious works, while providing a space to explore and experiment.

Inside, the building’s 21m (68ft) warehouse venue has capacity for up to 5,000 people and can be divided by a movable, full-height acoustic wall. Meanwhile its hall features a flexible stage and can house an audience of up to 1,603 seated or 2,000 standing. The warehouse and hall can also work together as one unit.

The venue opens with Free Your Mind - a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix that features 50 professional dancers and is a dramatic reimagining of the classic 1999 sci-fi film.

Directed by Danny Boyle and taking place through the venue, the immersive work features a score from renowned composer Michael Asante, set design by world-leading artist and designer Es Devlin and the work of acclaimed writer Sabrina Mahfouz.

“I’m so excited and proud to be welcoming audiences to the official opening of our magnificent new home,” said John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive of Factory International.

“Our official opening production, the Matrix-inspired Free Your Mind has been created especially for this moment by an incredible team, alongside an extraordinary mix of dancers, creatives and local participants, and is uniquely designed to showcase the versatility and ambition of the space.”

In addition to Free Your Mind under management of Factory International, Aviva Studios will host a year-round programme of original productions and special events across all artforms - from major exhibitions and concerts to intimate performances and immersive experiences.

Aviva Studios also features its Factory Academy, which will become a major training centre for the creative workforce of the future, providing opportunities for careers in creative industries and opportunities for artists from the North of England, particularly those most underrepresented in the sector.

“From dance and theatre to concerts and exhibitions, there will be something for everyone at this state-of-the-art new venue, which was made possible through nearly £100m (US$121.1m, €114.6m) of government funding,” said Britain’s culture secretary, Lucy Frazer.

“Aviva Studios will maximise the potential of the creative industries in Manchester and beyond, creating opportunities for local talent and bringing more world-class culture to the city. The government's support for this venue demonstrates our commitment to increasing access to arts and creativity across the country and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it brings to Manchester, both culturally and economically.”


 



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