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Plans submitted for Manchester's new £110m arts and cultural hub

Plans have been submitted for a £110m arts and cultural hub in Manchester as part of the city’s St John’s development.

Plans have been submitted for the 130,000 sq ft project, called The Factory, which has been designed by Dutch architects OMA – its first public project in the UK.

The arts centre, which has been part-funded by the government and has a capacity of 7,000 people, will require the demolition of the current Starlight Theatre on Water Street in the city centre.

It is intended to serve as the permanent home for the Manchester International Festival, currently spread across a number of venues in the city, once complete in 2019.

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

The project will also benefit from government funding of £9m a year from 2018/19.

It will form part of the St John’s development on the site of the former Granada TV Studios, which is being developed by Allied London in partnership with the city council.

The Factory is the latest part of the development to enter the planning process.

City planners gave the green light to a 51-storey building at St John’s Place as part of the development in October this year, while planning consent for the first phase of the scheme was granted in October last year.

The overall development will comprise 2,400 homes, three hotels, commercial space and public realm areas.

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