Manchester Opera House, Ambassador Theatre Group, p Ambassador Theatre Group

Ambassador Theatre Group's repair of the Opera House's exterior is part of a wider capital programme. Credit: via Ambassador Theatre Group

MC wraps £2m Manchester Opera House restoration

It is time for the principal contractor to take a bow, with work finished on reviving the grade two-listed building’s windows and façade.

MC Construction worked alongside Osbornes Chartered Architects, Motion Projects Management, Marshall Kenney, and ORSA on the £2m project, which involved repairing Manchester Opera House’s brickwork and ironmongery fixings.

The result is a close recreation of what the building would have looked like when it opened in 1912. That is thanks to an in-depth paint analysis, where the group looked at paint layers to replicate that first shade.

MC Construction managing director Russ Forshaw said: “Drawing on our extensive experience of successfully delivering projects at numerous listed buildings and other landmarks across the city, such as The Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum, and the Imperial Chinese Arch in the city’s Chinatown, we are delighted to have undertaken this restoration scheme at the Opera House, which is less than a mile from our company headquarters.

“Once again, our team has produced the goods and left their mark on a cherished Manchester building,” he continued.

Forshaw also praised the venue’s owner, Ambassador Theatre Group.

“It was great to work with the Ambassador Theatre Group, whose ongoing investment in its buildings ensures they can continue to delight audiences across the North West and beyond,” he said.

Osbornes architect Ian Edwards commented: ‘’Delivering plans on historical buildings such as the Opera House often involve an exact and highly detailed approach. It’s been a fulfilling project to work on and we hope that visitors to Manchester enjoy seeing the Opera House returned to its original splendour.’’

Manchester Opera House close up, Ambassador Theatre Group, p Ambassador Theatre Group

The Manchester Opera House is located at 3 Quay Street. Credit: via Ambassador Theatre Group

Work on the project began in the spring of last year. It was part of a wider, £4.5m capital investment project for the Opera House and Palace Theatre, which is also owned by Ambassador Theatre Group.

The broader scheme involved upgrading the opera house’s dressing rooms, toilets, backstage areas, and Ambassador Lounge. The Palace Theatre also saw improvements to its dimmer system and ventilation.

Reflecting on both projects, Robin Hawkes – the theatre director for both venues – said “In tandem with the Palace, the Opera House has been a jewel in the heart of Manchester’s cultural fabric for many generations.

“So I am delighted we’ve been able to restore and refresh the theatre’s beautiful Edwardian exterior, as part of a wider suite of works which will improve the experience of everybody visiting and using the two venues, for years to come.”

Your Comments

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This building needs a lot of work of which I doubt £2m will even touch


Does it have parking?

By Gilly

Priceless GILLY…….it adjoins a MSCP…… pay a visit sometime

By Priceless

Traffic is shocking though, that’s why I stick to events at the Lowry

By Anonymous

Oh no EOD someone has only spent 2 million on a listed building…….what will become of us? Enjoy the second half of that pint

By Half full

Please tell me of a vibrant city where traffic isn’t shocking. .Manchester is the most accessible city in the country outside of London

By It'sacity

You think Manchester is vibrant? You need to visit more cities

By Anonymous

Get the train, tram or bus.

By Anonymous

I know Manchester is vibrant because I live and work there and experience it everyday! Where do you live and how often do you visit?

By It's true

Well if you think traffic is bad now it will certainly get progressively worse, its a very concentric conurbation with everything concentrated in 1.5 sq miles on a street pattern that were not intended to take this much traffic, a modal shift to public transport and cycling is the only way.

By Anonymous

Hi folks – I let you all have your fun re: traffic, but future comments need to be on topic. As a reminder, that topic is the completed refurbishment of the Opera House’s exterior. Thanks.

By Julia Hatmaker

The outside was fine, inside us tall people have to sit with our knees scrunched up under our chin

By Anonymous

Beautiful old building and great transport links but like the Palace id spend some of that money on modern seating, personally that’s the only reason I prefer the Lowry…well that and the toilets…yeah I know I’m old..

By Anonymous

Lowry is a fantastic waterfront theatre. (Greater) Manchester is blessed to have both.

By Anonymous

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