April 2018

Contact commences £6.75m transformation

Contact is pleased to announce the appointment of award-winning contractors F Parkinson Ltd for its major £6.75million building redevelopment, which began at the end of March 2018. The project will transform the building for the next generation of audiences, artists and young people.

“The re-opened Contact building and our new facilities will massively improve the experience for audiences, artists and project participants. It will make the building more accessible, and will improve Contact’s economic and environmental sustainability. It’s fantastic to be working with a North West based contractor who aligns with our social values, and is also committed to creating opportunities for young people”.

Matt Fenton, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at Contact and Vice-Chair of Oxford Road Corridor’s Culture on the Corridor group

Contact is the UK’s leading theatre and arts venue which puts young people at the heart of every aspect of the organisation. Based in a unique building on Oxford Road in Manchester, Contact is recognised nationally and internationally as a centre for excellence in the promotion of youth leadership and creativity. A dedicated team of young people, Con:Struct, has been fully involved in all aspects of the building project since 2014 and has been part of the tender and appointment process.

First established in 1972, Contact last underwent a major building redevelopment in 1999 with a ground-breaking new environmentally sustainable design. Twenty years on, the building needs to expand in order to cope with the growing demand from young participants and audiences as well as further improving Contact’s economic and environmental sustainability. This next stage in the building’s evolution will see Contact open in summer 2019 with new and improved performance spaces; a purpose-built recording studio for young people’s music projects; an arts and health development space; new offices for artists and cultural organisations to hire and work alongside Contact staff; a new café/bar and many other exciting new features.

F Parkinson Ltd was established in 1934 in Blackpool and has since opened regional offices in Manchester and York. The organisation operates throughout the north of England and its vision is to be recognised for its outstanding achievements in social value, as well as delivering award-winning environmentally responsible projects.

F Parkinson Ltd places social value as key to its operations, providing positive social, economic and environmental impacts in the communities it works in. It also places great emphasis on the development, education, safety and health and wellbeing of its staff; an ethos which matches Contact’s organisational mission and values.

The project has been funded thanks to a £3.85million investment from Arts Council England plus generous grants from other supporters, trusts and foundations.