Manchester’s new arts destination Factory International to open 24 hours and sell alcohol until 4am

The flagship creative complex is set to launch in June.

By Emma Davidson | 24 January 2023

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Image: Factory International

Manchester’s major new cultural venue Factory International will be allowed to sell alcohol on its premises until 4am when it opens its doors this summer.  Situated on the edge of the former Granada TV studios, it will also be open 24 hours a day. 

The £210m project is set to welcome its first visitors in June, with the venue serving as a global destination for arts, music and culture, commissioning and presenting a curated year round programme by leading artists from across the world. 

Image: Factory International

The space is mostly funded by the government, but has also benefited from Arts Council England with the project being the largest cultural development since the opening of the Tate Modern back in 2000, according to the team behind it. 

Representing Factory International at a court hearing on Monday (16 January) Rebecca Lowe of Kurts Solicitors assured attendees that the venue would not turn into a nightclub, after concerns were raised by local residents and councillors. 

Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Speaking of the flexible licence, she said: “We can’t give detail of all the sorts of events that might take place at this venue over its lifetime because its very reason for being is to be groundbreaking, cutting edge venue, and to be a leading light in what is new in the arts. As such over the years there will rightly be some types of performances that take place at Factory International that haven’t been conceived yet.”

The application was approved with conditions limiting the capacity of the outdoor area to 2,000 people, and requiring regular resident meetings in order to maintain an open dialogue with the local community around issues that may arise from the decision.