Funding The Factory

Manchester’s new arts centre The Factory could become Arts Council England’s (ACE) sixth largest National Portfolio Organisation when it opens in 2019.

Manchester City Council (MCC) will apply for GBP9m (€10.4m) in annual ACE funding, which would put it just behind Leeds-based Opera North who receive GBP10.4m annually. The other leading NPOs are Royal Opera House, Southbank Centre, Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, which receive a total of GBP76.6m between them.

The Factory has a goal of receiving 900,000 visitors a year, with 200,000 of them coming from outside Greater Manchester. The venue itself – which combines performing spaces, galleries and other facilities – can welcome up to 7,000 visitors at a time.

‘The Factory will be a complete game-changer, building on these already outstanding foundations to make Manchester and the wider region a genuine cultural counterbalance to London,’ said MCC leader Richard Leese. ‘As well as delivering world-class events, it will act as a catalyst to the whole creative economy and open up extensive new opportunities for local people, and especially young people, to gain jobs and skills in the creative sector.’

It is estimated that as many as 1,500 jobs could be created by the building, adding GBP1.1bn to the area’s economy over the next 10 years.

MCC will find out if its bid has been successful on 1 July 2017, although the funding has already been set aside for the new GBP110m facility.