The Factory Challenge

This week G&T joined The Factory arts venue project team in Manchester to offer a week’s work experience to a group of Year 11 students from five local Manchester schools, down on site at one of the city’s most exciting developments.

In an exciting, creative week based at The Factory site offices, the students spent the week designing, engineering, costing and digitally constructing an intimate venue that could host one of Manchester’s most innovative acts.  Working with, and supported by all members of the project teams, the students went through the design process from start to finish, submitting their own designs for a 150 person (standing) venue on a site adjacent to The Factory.  At the end of the week, each team presented their ‘pitch’ to a panel of professional judges from Manchester City Council and Manchester International Festival (MIF), who gave them feedback on their ideas. 

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The Factory Challenge

As part of The Factory Challenge G&T partner, Stephen Frood, who has been the Cost Management lead on The Factory project since 2015, gave the students tips on how to cost up their projects, keeping them within a strict budget and manage any associated or unexpected costs. He was joined by colleagues Alice Spiers and Daniel Gomez who were able to share their experiences with the students in a number of interactive workshops.

“This week is all about giving something back to the local schools in Manchester and enable them to have a fantastic insight into The Factory project, and the work required to design and cost an arts venue. The hope is that these young students will aspire to future job opportunities or apprenticeships in the construction sector”

Stephen Frood, G&T Partner

This opportunity gave the students some unique work experience that may open their eyes to a career in the built environment but also increase their understanding of what is expected of them in the workplace (punctuality, reliability, being smart, presentation skills, workshop groups etc.).

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The Factory Challenge

What is the Factory?

The Factory is a world-class arts venue that is currently being built on the former site of Granada Studios in Manchester’s new neighbourhood, St John’s, a burgeoning city centre hub for culture, creativity and digital innovation. It’s a large scale project (13,300 sq m) that will be operated by Manchester International Festival (MIF), which will commission and present the world’s most exciting artists including a programme from theatre and music to visual arts and dance. The Factory is due to open in 2021 and is expected to attract up to 850,000 visitors a year, adding £1.1 billion to Manchester’s economy over a decade.

The project team includes OMA, BDP, Charcoalblue, Gardiner & Theobald, Buro Happold and Laing O’Rourke.

Find out more about the project in our case study.

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