Project update – The Factory

The Factory hits key structural milestone

In December, The Factory project in Manchester city centre hit its most significant milestone to date with the installation of the 125-tonne steel proscenium truss.

The truss is a key structural element which will form the stage opening between the 1,600-capacity theatre auditorium and the 5,000-capacity warehouse space. The installation was completed using one of the country’s largest mobile cranes which stands at 60m tall.  The truss was installed as part of the three day lifting operation which included two other primary trusses to form the southern perimeter of the warehouse roof.

The Factory is one of the biggest developments of its kind in Europe and will be a world-class cultural space in the heart of Manchester. The project was procured through the NWCH High Value Framework by Manchester City Council. The main contractor on the project is Laing O’Rourke.

The venue is being developed at the former Granada Studios site and will be 13,300 square metres in size. It will be the permanent home of Manchester International Festival, which will commission and present the world’s most exciting artists as part of a year-round programme.

Since the first spade hit the ground in August 2018, we have seen the completion of the enabling and foundation works, along with the installation of the ‘mega cantilever’ which has now been followed by the proscenium truss.

Winston Watson, Project Leader at The Factory, said: “Reaching a milestone such as this was a great achievement for the team here at The Factory.

The installation of the truss was a significant event in the build sequence enabling continuation of the warehouse roof and commencement of the adjoining theatre.  The complex lift operation went smoothly from start to finish thanks to the meticulous planning and hard work that was put in.

“I’d like to thank the team for their continuous hard work, we should be very proud of this achievement.”

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