Work has commenced to transform three heritage railway arches in the city centre into a talent development centre for artists.
Situated between HOME’s main arts centre building and Whitworth Street West, the new space will be a resource for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers.
Robertson Construction have been appointed to carry out the work which is due to be completed in May 2024.
The £3.7m HOME Arches project, which will be operated by HOME, will help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing high quality, low cost rehearsal and training space. It will add to the sense of place in the First Street district and further strengthen it as a destination.
The project is being funded through £2.3m of Government Levelling Up funding, a £0.9m contribution from the Council and around £0.5m from HOME (which includes some post-construction costs.)
The scheme is one of two parts of the Culture In The City project which Manchester City Council secured almost £20m of Government Levelling Up funding for in autumn 2021.
The other part, a £17.5m scheme, is seeing the Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings – both Grade II-listed lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said:
“These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and wellbeing and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME, said:
“We are delighted to announce HOME Arches, realising our long-held ambition to provide meaningful, additional creative space for artists to make art.
“HOME Arches will allow us to grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works and we can’t wait to get started. “The brief and business model for this project has been guided by our Artist Panel, who have generously given their thoughts and ideas to co-create a much-needed space for artists, and I want to thank them for their support and involvement.”
Dirk Pittaway, regional managing director, Robertson Construction North West, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Manchester City Council and North West Construction Hub in the delivery of the arches project. The regeneration of these heritage arches into a centre for artists illustrates the commitment from the Council to repurpose spaces into facilities which create benefits for the wider community. We look forward to making our contribution through the art of transformation.”