March start for £4.6m Met revamp

Live music, arts and theatre venue The Met in Bury has appointed HH Smith & Sons as the main contractor on its £4.6m refurbishment scheme, which will begin on site next month.

The scheme, which has been designed by JM Architects, will include new and improved studio and theatre spaces, a bar area, workshop spaces, new dressing rooms and a more accessible lift in the centre of the building.

Bury Metropolitan Arts Association has spent the last four years fundraising for the redevelopment. The Arts Council has contributed £3.1m capital investment, with supporting contributions from Bury Council, Manchester Guardian, Granada Foundation, Monument Trust, Oglesby Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, other public donations and individual gifts.

Gardiner & Theobald is project managing and HL Structural Engineers is also working on the scheme. The venue will be closed from mid-March, although the restaurant, bar and Automatic Cafe will remain open, apart from closing for two weeks in June as part of the redevelopment. Maze Planning advised on the planning application.

It is expected that the project will be completed by November 2016.

Rob Smith, director of HH Smith & Sons, said: “HH Smith & Sons are very pleased to be working with Bury Metropolitan Arts Association, Bury Council and JM Architects on this scheme to restore the building’s heritage features, increase capacity and improve facilities. As a local company, with many employees living within the Bury area, we are proud to be associated with The Met and a project that will enhance Bury’s cultural offer and vastly improve one of Bury’s most important historical buildings.”

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