Mayfield Depot Partnership reveals venue plan

Simon Donohue

Plans have been unveiled for a new temporary venue within the former Mayfield Depot on Fairfield Street, Manchester.

An open day was held at the weekend for local residents and businesses so that the Mayfield Depot Partnership could outline its vision for the future of the 120,000 sq ft building for the next three to five years.

The partnership plans to create a temporary cultural centre. It is hoped that the space might be used by the Manchester Food & Drink Festival, Manchester International Festival and The Warehouse Project.

The building is owned by London & Continental Railways, which has agreed to work with Mayfield Depot Partnership on the event plans.

David Norris, director of the Mayfield Depot Partnership, said: "We are taking our inspiration from the Old Truman Brewery, London; Park Avenue Armory, New York and the Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany – all these large buildings have been reimagined into successful and significant cultural icons in their own rights, and have led to major investment in their local areas.

"Mayfield Depot could be added to that list. The sheer size and scale of the building means we can look to attract projects that will have a significant regional, national or international reputation.

"The Depot could be used to host lots of creative and innovative events around six key areas: arts, food, film, fashion and retail, sport and music. We want to work in collaboration with local, national and international organisations that will embrace Mayfield and rise to the challenge of the building.

"It is still early days for us. Our application for a premises licence is in and we intend to submit a planning application by the end of October. Subject to planning, the first events could be held in summer 2014 at the Depot.

"While we have no formal partnerships in place yet – and won't have until at least planning is achieved – we have begun discussions with potential collaborators including Manchester International Festival, Manchester Food & Drink Festival, and The Warehouse Project."

"We've begun initial conversations with Manchester Food & Drink Festival to create a unique food event featuring the best local businesses."

The Mayfield Depot Partnership is between the Addy Consultancy, David Norris, formerly a director of Ear to the Ground and Groundbreaking, and Jon Drape, director of Manchester-based event production company Ground Control.

Liverpool-based Addy Consultancy specialise in mixed use, leisure and culturally significant planning applications.

Mayfield Depot on Fairfield Street was opened in 1910 as a four platform station to relieve overcrowding at the near-by Piccadilly train station. It closed to passengers in 1960 and completely shut down in 1986.

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