Contact Theatre in Manchester will be renovated to the tune of £6.5 million. The project, partly funded by the Arts Council, will deliver an improved audience experience as well as improving access for artists and visitors alike. Mace has been contracted to provide a broad range of project management support for the project.
Contact is a small community- and charity run theatre in Manchester. The theatre was founded in 1965 as the University theatre, before, in 1999, being reappropriated as a “world where young people are empowered by creativity to become leaders in both the arts and their communities.” The theatre now provides young artists a space in which to develop their talents as well as support the local community through a range of adjacent projects. Programmes at the theatre are jointly organised by the young people and facility staff as a means of boosting empowerment and providing skills in project development and management, alongside artistic pursuits.
To support the long term viability of the theatre, the centre is going through a comprehensive upgrade of its key facilities; the projected is valued at £6.5 million and is partly funded by the Arts Council. The upgrade includes a remodelling of the central building, as well as the addition of 300 m2 of space. Areas to be improve include the box office, entrance, bar and café, as well access and accessibility to all public areas and performance spaces.
Professional services firm Mace has been called in to provide a range of project management support, including procurement advice, contract administration, risk and contingency management, change management and budget management. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Mace Project Director, Steve Gillingham, says, “Working with Contact in the Arts and Culture sector is a privilege and it is great to be involved with a project that will directly impact on the community and local people who will use the theatre. This project forms part of a long line of Arts & Cultural schemes in the region and we are proud to be working with Contact to realise their ambitious scheme.”
Matt Fenton, Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Contact, says, “Working with MACE project managers has given us huge confidence as we move towards the detailed design and construction phases of our transformation of the Contact building. We feel that they understand and support our aspiration to create a building that is genuinely welcoming and accessible for young people, artists, audiences and local communities.”