After more than two years of producing work across the city, the theatre and arts venue Contact has formally regained possession of its Manchester site.
With construction work to transform the building for the next generation of audiences, artists and young people having began in January 2018, the practical completion has been reached in a “significant milestone” for the £6.75 million project.
“The re-opened Contact will transform the experience for audiences, artists and young people alike. It’s more important than ever that young people from all backgrounds and cultures can come together to create, express themselves, and access free training and skills,” said Matt Fenton, chief executive and artistic director at Contact.
“We can’t wait to start to welcome back our young participants from across Greater Manchester, and in due course to host audiences of all ages to experience shows in our unique, sustainably-designed building.”
Working with Sheppard Robson, Contact designed the new building to include a dedicated arts and health space. The venue also comprises a purpose-built recording studio, a rehearsal studio, refurbished performance spaces and offices.
Since the spring of 2018, Contact’s staff and participants have been based at the Powerhouse in Moss Side and have undertaken their shows and activities across the city.
The project has been funded through a £3.85 million investment from Arts Council England, plus generous grants from other supporters, trusts and foundations including Manchester City Council, the Foyle Foundation, the Granada Foundation, Wellcome Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation and the Oglesby Charitable Trust.
Help in-kind was given from Manchester University and Bruntwood. Construction work was carried out by F Parkinson, with project management from Mace. Legal advice was provided by Mills and Reeve.