With a number of beautiful pieces of street art located across Manchester, the city is both an inspiration and canvas for many artists. However, work has begun to transform three heritage railway arches in the city centre into a talent development centre for artists, led by Manchester arts centre HOME.
Situated between HOME’s main arts centre building and Whitworth Street West, the new space will be a resource for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers. The £3.7m HOME Arches project, which will be operated by HOME in the First Street district, will help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing high quality, low cost rehearsal and training space.
The project is being funded through £2.3m of Government Levelling Up funding, a £900,000 contribution from the Council and around £500,000 from HOME. The scheme is one of two parts of the Culture In The City project which Manchester City Council secured almost £20m of Government Levelling Up funding for in Autumn 2021. The other part, a £17.5m scheme, is seeing the Grade II-listed Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said: “These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and wellbeing and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME, said: “We are delighted to announce HOME Arches, realising our long-held ambition to provide meaningful, additional creative space for artists to make art. HOME Arches will allow us to grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works and we can’t wait to get started.”
Robertson Construction have been appointed to carry out the work which is due to be completed in May 2024.