Factory gives real impetus to Manchester’s transformation

The Times 25 August 2015

From Joy Division to the Happy Mondays by way of the Haçienda, Manchester is known for its groundbreaking bands and the hedonistic nightlife they spawned. Now the city is hoping to lift its cultural offer to a higher plane with The Factory, a new arts centre that will host events from traditional theatre to whizz-bang immersive experiences, such as the 3D virtual reality planetarium slated for Manchester’s International Festival in 2017.

The name of the centre is an homage to the record label behind some of the city’s biggest bands, but also denotes a shift in Manchester’s aspirations: from an industrial sprawl, supplying the nation with manufactured goods to a creative hub, spewing out graphic designers.

Unusually, in this age of austerity, it is almost …

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