The Library Theatre in Manchester is set to receive a very happy birthday present on it’s 62nd birthday in 2014. While most 62 year olds would be thinking about retiring, this particular pensioner is far from thinking of resting on its laurels. For, after 58 years in the basement of Manchester City Library, The Library Theatre is preparing to move into a new home.
So full of life is this sprightly sexagenarian that, while work on the new venue is completed, they are about to embark on a three year tour of the region, presenting theatre in a variety of spaces in and around Manchester.
The new building will hopefully bring a whole new lease of life to Manchester’s landmark theatre, which over the years has staged a number of European premiers of American musicals, gained critical acclaim for its varied programme and collected dozens of awards.
Chris Honer, the Artistic Director responsible for rejuvenating The Library after government funding restrictions reduced the creative output of The Library to one Christmas show a year, announced the plans for the theatre, saying “This is terrific news for Manchester audiences and the Library Theatre Company. It will enable the company to develop and expand its work and achieve its aspirations.”
And its not just The Library which will benefit. Cornerhouse, Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual arts and film will join Honer and The Library in their new home.
Creating a unique, audience-focussed centre for the arts will create a world class cultural attraction.
The new venue will combine a 500 seat-theatre, with around five cinemas, and 600 square metres of contemporary gallery space. There will also be an education space and informal and outdoor performance spaces as well as a café. Additionally, the new venue promises state-of-the-art back of house facilities.
Creating a unique, audience-focussed centre for the arts will place Manchester even more firmly on the UK cultural map and create a world class cultural attraction.
The £19 million cost of the new building is fully financed from £16 million worth of funds already set aside for the Library Theatre’s relocation, and £3 million of third party contributions and future capital receipts.