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Laing O'Rourke in line for £110m Manchester arts centre

Laing O’Rourke is in pole position to build an £110m arts centre in Manchester, Construction News understands.

The Dartford-based contractor is understood to be in negotiations with clients Allied London and Manchester City Council to build The Factory.

The 130,000 sq ft arts and cultural hub received planning permission earlier this year after being recommended for approval in January.

Designed by architects OMA, it represents the Dutch studio’s first public project in the UK.

The building, which will sit on the site of the current Starlight Theatre on Water Street in Manchester city centre, is expected to complete in 2019.

It is intended to serve as the permanent home for the Manchester International Festival, which is currently spread across a number of venues in the city.

OMA architects The Factory Manchester 2

OMA architects The Factory Manchester 2

The government committed £78m to the project in 2014’s Autumn Statement, with Manchester City Council contributing further funds.

The Factory will also receive further government funding of £9m per year from 2018/19.

The building forms part of the wider St John’s development, which is being brought forward on the site of the former Granada TV Studios by Allied London in partnership with the city council.

Other parts of the St John’s masterplan to go through the planning process include a 51-storey building at St John’s Place, which was given the green light in October last year, while two further PRS towers both 36 storeys in height won planning approval earlier this month.

Laing O’Rourke is currently working on a number of high profile schemes in the city, including a £235m deal to build the Sir Henry Royce Institute for the University of Manchester.

The contractor is also working alongside joint venture partners VolkerRail and Thales to deliver the new £350m Trafford Park Metrolink extension.

Laing O’Rourke declined to comment. Manchester City Council has been contacted for comment.

OMA architects The Factory Manchester 3

OMA architects The Factory Manchester 3

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