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Big Plans For Mayfield Depot

Mayfield partnership unveil plans for temporary cultural venue

Written by . Published on October 12th 2013.

Big Plans For Mayfield Depot

There’s been speculation surrounding the Mayfield Depot recently. Not least on this site.

The vast majority of which, in one way or another, revolving around the potential move of the Warehouse Project back into the city centre from its current home at Victoria Warehouse in Trafford.

The sheer size and scale of the building means we can look to attract projects that will have a significant regional, national or international reputation.

“That’s not simply the case”, insisted Jon Drape, Director of Manchester based event production company Ear to the Ground and Ground Control, “Yes we’ve been in talks with the Warehouse Project, but we’ve also been in talks with the Manchester International Festival, Manchester Food and Drink Festival and theatre companies. We don’t want this to just be about the potential move of the Warehouse Project, because it isn’t. It’s more than that and nothing has been agreed yet.”

Mayfield DepotMayfield Depot

Mayfield DepotMayfield Depot

The Mayfield Depot Partnership consisting of Drape, David Norris, former Director of Ear to the Ground and Groundbreaking, and Liverpudlian design and development agency, the Addy Consultancy, possess an impressive list of previous event experience, including: Liverpool Capital of Culture, Festival Number 6, Live from Jodrell Bank, BBC Proms in the Park Salford and Granary Square, Kings Cross, London.

The partnership plans to create a temporary three to five year cultural centre in the depot (currently owned by London and Continental Railways), a 120,000 sq. ft. events space holding a maximum capacity of 7500 and hosting a number of events, from musical events to art exhibitions, sport screenings to conferences, as Mr Drape points out, “The potential there is huge. It’s a massive space slap bang next to Piccadilly. The maximum capacity will be 7500, but to be honest you could easily double that. The only restrictions being the amount of fire exits we can put in.

"We see the Mayfield Depot as filling a gap. Between the capacity of places such as the Apollo (3500) and the Arena (23,000). A space that offers a great many number of possibilities and varying types of events. This isn't a venue that we want to see pigeonholed.

“The Manchester International Festival demonstrated what could be done with the space. Why should that be restricted to once a year?”

Warehouse ProjectWarehouse Project

Norris believes the plans will bring investment to the area, “We are taking our inspiration from the Old Truman Brewery, London; Park Avenue Armory, New York and the Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany – all these large buildings have been reimagined into successful and significant cultural icons in their own rights, and have led to major investment in their local areas.

“Mayfield Depot could be added to that list. The sheer size and scale of the building means we can look to attract projects that will have a significant regional, national or international reputation.

“The Depot could be used to host lots of creative and innovative events around six key areas: arts, food, film, fashion and retail, sport and music. We want to work in collaboration with local, national and international organisations that will embrace Mayfield and rise to the challenge of the building.

Artist impression: Mayfield art exhibitionArtist impression: Mayfield art exhibition

Artist impression: Mayfield fashion eventArtist impression: Mayfield fashion event

“It is still early days for us," continues Norris. "Our application for a premises licence is in and we intend to submit a planning application by the end of October. Subject to planning, the first events could be held in summer 2014 at the Depot. 

“While we have no formal partnerships in place yet - and won’t have until at least planning is achieved - we have begun discussions with potential collaborators including Manchester International Festival, Manchester Food and Drink Festival, and The Warehouse Project.”

MayfieldMayfield“We’ve begun initial conversations with Manchester Food and Drink Festival to create a unique food event featuring the best local businesses.”

Alex Poots, CEO and Artistic Director of the Manchester International Festival said: “Manchester International Festival hopes to build upon the success of Massive Attack v Adam Curtis and the visual arts group show of 2013 at Mayfield Depot.  Last summer we took a great building in Manchester and reimagined it as a great cultural space.  Over the next few months we will be talking to artists about commissioning and creating work that will make the most of this extraordinary environment.”

Tracey Donnelly, Director of Manchester-based Donnelly24 (founders of brands Gio Goi and newly launched Your Own Clothing) and Charity boxing event Formal Fight Club has witnessed first hand the decline of the area and now sees the plans in place for Mayfield as a great opportunity for local businesses: "We are really excited with Ground Controls proposed plans for The Mayfield Depot as we have a double interest in the site.

"Having attended the presentation we realised that this is about more than a music venue, with plans in place to include events for sports, fashion, art and food.


Mayfield exteriorMayfield exterior

"This is great news for our clothing brands, being the founders of Gio Goi  and recently launched Your Own Clothing (YO) we are right behind the application as it gives us the opportunity for somewhere locally to exhibit our collections. The site is full of character and of the right capacity for events and launches.

Also, having owned land for over 30 years on Hoyle Street next door to Mayfield, my family have watched the decline of this once vibrant industrial area. If Mayfield Depot is given the go-ahead we see it as a win-win situation for this neglected part of the city centre.

"We're in full support of this application as are our friends in the fashion industry."

The Mayfield Depot Partnership hope to see planning and licensing in place at the beginning of the new year.

Current licensing applications, including those for Mayfield can be viewed here.

Photos: Jan Cheblik and Tom Sherman

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15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JoanOctober 12th 2013.

I attended the consultation earlier today. It was an interesting presentation and answered some, but not all, of the questions residents and local businesses have. At least there’s now some transparency and public dialogue. Anyone who wishes to make a representation to Manchester City Council for consideration at the Licensing Hearing can do so by following the link David has given. Confusingly there are two almost identical licence applications and I would suggest that representations clearly state that they cover both applications. One application, in the name of The Addy Consultancy has a deadline of midnight on 14th October and the other, in the name of Jon Drape, a deadline of 5th November. Representations can be in favour of or against a licence being granted, or can be in favour subject to certain limitations or conditions being applied. Whatever your view it’s a good idea to avoid an emotional rant and try instead to stick to references to the Licensing Objectives. Guidance can be found on the link David gives. You’ll also need to give your name and address. I’d be happy to be copied in, particularly if you’re a city centre resident. cllr.j.davies@manchester.gov.uk

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 14th 2013.

Thanks Joan

AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

This could be very good. Will probably need Warehouse Project on board to make it viable.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2013.

Great idea but I just can't see the "we're up & going" mob at MCC having the vision to 'get' this. Probably a prime site for the "wrecking ball" and budget hotels, student flats or another Ancoats style retail park - according to them?

AdamOctober 13th 2013.

Very glad to see exciting plans! Yes very much learning emotional hot headedness is not always the best way. Is there more detail how the Addy application differs to the Drake one? On the City Council website the information is the same so would be impossible to say which I prefer. Tried to google, but can't find any docs either.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
David BlakeOctober 13th 2013.

I believe it's known as 'shadowing' a license. Essentially, two premises licenses are applied for, so that in the event that one premises license is revoked, there's another in place so that trade can continue. It's a fairly common safety net I believe.

AdamOctober 14th 2013.

So for someone basic in understanding planning, does it mean they are the same company?

David BlakeOctober 14th 2013.

One license application is for Jon Drape, MD of Ground Control and Director of Ear to the Ground. The other is by the Addy Consultancy (Bill Addy), a Liverpudlian design and development agency. So no, they are separate companies but both companies are involved in the Mayfield Depot Partnership along with David Norris. Hope this helps.

AnonymousOctober 14th 2013.

Copies of proposed licenses can be obtained from Premises Licensing or down loaded from the Licensing Register. However since as far as I know no one lives near enough to make representations, it is a bit pointless. If there is planning application it will be on MCC. planning site and people can make representations if they have an interest.

AnonymousOctober 14th 2013.

There's a large Unite student accommodation block just to the west of the site.

AVOOctober 13th 2013.

Why is a consultation about a place in Manchester being held at a hotel in London?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidOctober 13th 2013.

I think the writer missed off 'Road' from 'London Road'

EditorialOctober 14th 2013.

Yes, thanks, fixed now. Ta

AnonymousOctober 31st 2013.

Doesn't seem like they will be doing much to the current structure other than very minor repairs. There are signs outside saying its a dangerous site..how could this even be considered. Watch this VT www.itv.com/…/…

Matt O`DonoghueAugust 1st 2014.

These plans have come off the rails ... hit the buffers ... been shunted into the sidings. Granada Reports has seen confidential legal papers that show LCR, who owns Mayfield Depot, have decided they don't want to enter into any short term deal to turn this venue into an entertainment complex or nightclub and home for the Warehouse Project.

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