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Trof Plans Huge Event Space in Quay House Basement

Award shows, club nights and roller derbies planned for 1,500 capacity space

Written by . Published on July 21st 2011.


Trof Plans Huge Event Space in Quay House Basement

BAR OPERATOR Trof wants to open a live music and events space in the basement of Quay House in the city centre.

The firm also wants to use the space to hold award ceremonies like the MTV Europe Video Awards, the NME Awards, as well as exhibitions and roller-skating derbies.

It could even hold club nights like Guilty Pleasures down there, as well as fashion shows and theatre. The building was used to host Punchdrunk’s It Felt Like a Kiss for the Manchester International Festival two years ago.

"This application is about bringing an unused car-park back to life in a fantastic city-centre location, operated by an independent local family company."

In a letter to the city council, to support its planning application, parent company Zecol says it wants the space to be ‘an independently-run exhibition and entertainment space, completely flexible and open to all people and businesses.

It had to revise an earlier application after some objections from neighbouring businesses. The new proposals will be for a two-year operation with reduced opening hours – although it wants to open until 3am on weekends - and a capacity of 1,500.

‘We intend to bring to the city-centre a space that can adapt to any type of event and function,’ it says. ‘We want to put on events that bring a whole new set of city-centre visitors who would normally not visit the area, from toddlers to international visitors.’

The firm wants to hold four daytime exhibitions a month, focusing on traditionally rural mainstays such as ‘plant and flower exhibitions; animal and rarebreed shows; vintage vehicles, bikes, cars, campervans, caravans, and ex-army vehicles; tractors and agricultural machinery. ‘

Zecol also wants to run roller-skating derbies, skateboard  sessions and displays, product launches and press conferences. ‘Trof is very interested in promoting green business practices and hopes to hold events such as product-launch conferences specifically targeting this sector,’ says the letter.

Other suggested uses include conferences, dinners, and award ceremonies. ‘We intend to hold events that are usually held in London such as the MTV Video Music awards, NME awards, festival awards and so forth,’ it says.

The firm claims the space can hold 350 people or upto 1,500 for more popular events, and would be able to sit over 600 people for dinner.

Zecol also says it has ‘already attracted a lot of interest from bands, international promoters and bookers.’

‘The space will allow us to host bands that are mid-range and play music that is typically in the folk and indie range with audiences usually in the 18-50 year old demographic,’ says the letter.

Live music will be restricted to eight events per month from 6pm – 11.30pm Sunday to Wednesday and 6pm – 12.30amThursday – Saturday, holding 400-1,250 people. Club nights are also part of the plans.

The firm claims the new venture will use local businesses to help run the events and could create 100 jobs.

‘This application is about bringing an unused car-park back to life in a fantastic city-centre location, holding many varied events and attracting all ages and cultures, and all operated by an independent local family company,’ it says.

Good news for Confidential possibly - it's our office.

Nobody at Trof was available for comment.

You can follow Simon Binns on Twitter @simonbinns

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

AnonymousJuly 21st 2011.

This was supposed to open earlier this year and was provisionally called 'Gorilla' as a few bands were booked to play but had the venue changed to the Academy.

Simon BinnsJuly 21st 2011.

Indeed it was anon. These are revised plans. Sounds intriguing. Best dust off my roller skates.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2011.

Great news for that area though with Gaslamp, Mark Addy & Corridor all nearby

AnonymousJuly 21st 2011.

I'm pretty sure one doesn't "run" a "roller skating derby". In fact the closest you could get to that would be hosting a bout for one of Manchester's Roller Derby leagues, if they let you.

CitizenandrewJuly 21st 2011.

Genius. This is what makes Manchester great!

AnonymousJuly 22nd 2011.

I skate for Manchester Roller Derby. Not entirely sure how this would work, but if you're interested in roller derby you're more than welcome to come along to our next bout (Carry on Jamming, 30th July, Sugden Centre, 2pm) to find out all about it, gain an understanding as to how it works and talk to some of the players you might want to get involved...

Failing that, get in touch with me: steph at manchesterarcadians dot com and I'll help however I can.

Simon BinnsJuly 22nd 2011.

In the letter, the reference to roller derbies is as follows: it says they want to hold 'roller-skating derbies which are held in all the major city-centres and involve weekly meetings of several clubs who race around an
indoor track.'

Anon, your pedantry is astounding. Well done.

Skater GirlJuly 22nd 2011.

Isn't this building being knocked down to build a new office? according to your earlier article it is!

Simon BinnsJuly 22nd 2011.

According to my earlier article, Allied London is close to getting the funding to bring the new building online.

That could take another month or so. Then they've got to get new drawings from the architects - three months, maybe six. Then go for revised or a new planning consent - three months. Then put the tender out for the professional team to carry out the build - three months. Then tender for a demolition firm - another three months.

Then they've got to get their tenants out, most of whom are on six months notice.

Put all that together, and you're not far off two years. Trof have applied for a two year licence for this plan.

So I'd reckon this will run while Allied are putting the plans in place to bring Quay Street down.

tJuly 22nd 2011.

Am I mental or would re-opening the car park not be a good idea perhaps?

PaulJuly 22nd 2011.

MTV Europe Music Awards in the basement of Quay House...I don't think so.....

Skater GirlJuly 25th 2011.

Thanks Simon.Are you a builder?
Not sure a 2 year lease will be any good for a venue. Just gets going, gets a reputation, then its dust........

Simon BinnsJuly 25th 2011.

No, no, just a lowly journalist...I'm always up for some freelance hod-carrying though.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2011.

The car park is NOT unused. There is absolutely no way 1500 people can get into this small space. Absolute health and safety hazard. Barking proposal.

Cllr Kevin PeelJuly 27th 2011.

Residents on Quay Street do not want what will effectively be a student nightclub on their doorstep. They made this quite clear when I facilitated a meeting between residents and the developer and 20 residents turned up to voice their concerns. It is a real shame he has decided to plough ahead with this plan, but I will be representing residents at the planning committee in September and hope they make a sensible decision.

Jonathan SchofieldJuly 27th 2011.

Kevin, isn't this a case of people just saying no to change? The Rossetti flats are over the road but no others are. This seems like a sensible use of an office building if you ask me. There's an ex-sports bar opposite Quay House that was rubbish, presumably it's waiting for a new tenant. Will you complain about that if it gets one? This is the city centre remember, city centres are about constant evolution, not stagnation into a quiet suburb.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 2nd 2011.

They are about constant evolution. Here is an example. I used to go clubbing twice a week at the Hacienda but would not have wanted to have lived above it. Now that it is demolished it would not get planning permission if Peter Hook wanted to take over the underground car park benaeth the flats because...people live there now - evolution see.

Just as if it was a club and the flats came after who would want to live there? Nobody.

This 'you live in the city centre so you have no right to a good nights sleep' is tosh.

Sure, let's have noise Fri-Sun but not 3am midweek in what is a quiet part of the city centre.

Evolution is 30,000 people now living in the city centre so their views count and why should it be a free for all pissfest seven nights a week?

I am sure that businesses in Spinningfields don't want puke on their doorways seven days a week either.

Wrong venue, wrong loaction and anybody stupid enough to think this venue that was a club three weeks ago is now going to be a skateboarding/art gallery with the odd club night thrown in needs their head testing.

What was the point of the residents meetingwith the venue's owner? None. Don't trust the fella now.

Calum McGJuly 27th 2011.

Sorry Kevin, I think it's a brilliant idea. Bring it on!

Calum McGJuly 27th 2011.

Also, Jonathan, you're right. It's like people moaning about noise from the Castlefield Arena - not only was it there before a lot of the flats, but the fact it's there is a clue to it being used from time to time. It's city centre, expect some noise and embrace and enjoy it. If that's not for you, move to the hills!

Cllr Kevin PeelJuly 27th 2011.

Completely agree with you Jonathan but there has to be a balance. In my experience the vast majority of city centre residents welcome the diverse nightlife on offer, indeed they often move here because of it. However everyone has the right to a decent nights sleep and not have drunken yobs pissing in their doorway.

This application has particularly rankled residents given the capacity and the hours. The original application was even worse - 3.30am Sunday - Wednesday and 5am Thursday - Saturday, with a capacity of 2,000! On top of that this is a quiet area of town and many Quay Street residents moved here because of that.

Constant evolution is good. A never ending influx of new nightclubs is not. Despite all the plans I seriously doubt most of what is stated in the article will come to fruition - it will be a club. I don't think that is a sensible use of an office building in a quiet neighbourhood.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
FurFoxAcheJuly 27th 2011.

Flies in the face of other arguments put forward by your colleagues.

Quote from the parking debate interview with Cllr Murphy "I think the issue of residents having trouble is a red herring, When they move in, they know what the situation is. They’ve moved in with their eyes open."

ShuttyJuly 27th 2011.

"I don't think that is a sensible use of an office building in a quiet neighbourhood."

A quiet neighbourhood 200m off the middle of Deansgate?

Sounds like your issue is more with the potentially disorderly exiting of clientel from the proposed venue? Isn't there a solution by agreeing to this venture but with the provision for door staff and 'crowd control measures' to ensure an orderly dispersal?

Couldn't the licence be granted with this provision and if the licensees cannot comply then action can be taken, if necessary removing the licence?

Cllr Kevin PeelJuly 27th 2011.

Ali it isn't the same situation, and the overwhelming majority of Castlefield residents support the events that take place in the arena.

James SpencerJuly 27th 2011.

Shutty: Control external to the bars is a real problem. The enforcing authority are the police and there is a Home Office Circular that tell them effectively to do nothing. Once people are out of the premises the bar is not interested or responsible

According to the MCC's Licensing Policy new and radically changed Licences are supposed to provide for:

Licensed premises need to ensure the orderly exit and dispersal of customers from the
premises. Relevant considerations could include:

Prominent display of notices requiring courtesy for neighbours

Preventing customers from congregating outside

Providing advice and directions to available public transport

Providing contact details for taxi/private hire firms and provision of a call back service
Use of a dedicated taxi/private hire service
Implementing a dispersal policy based upon good practice
Use of a winding-down period
The role of door supervisors in managing persons leaving

I wonder how many new licenses or other applications (eg Change of Hours) actually do more than say we will put up a notice. Even if they do only noise immediately adjacent to the bars is covered.

Ask the residents of Hulme Street

On of the former residents in our block was a DJ. Even DJ's have to sleep' he said.

As I have long since said Manchester is a vibrant not Vibrating City.

Calum McGAugust 1st 2011.

Same principle, Kevin. This is a major city, not a quiet backwater. Expect change!

AnonymousAugust 1st 2011.

I don't think Ali Mcg actually lives in the City Centre maybe not even in Manchester. Lets have another Printworks but on the other bank of the Irwell. Salford needs it.

Calum McGAugust 1st 2011.

I live in the centre, Anon.

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