Venue Lab, part of national company Broadwick Group, is to stage events at the Trafford complex until it shuts early next year to make way for the £250m Therme Manchester resort.
The 300,000 sq ft EventCity owned by the Peel Group was originally going to be relocated elsewhere once construction of the Therme leisure scheme on Barton Dock Road began.
However, Peel said last September it had decided to ditch plans for the relocation based on pandemic-related economic uncertainty, and instead permanently close the conference and events centre from 31 March this year.
The construction timeline for Therme has also since changed – the scheme was due to start on site this year but has been delayed due to Covid, prompting Peel to search for a temporary use for EventCity in the interim.
Broadwick Group, known as Broadwick Live, creates venues, spaces and brands across the country and counts the 10,000-capacity live music venue Depot Mayfield in Manchester within its portfolio of managed spaces.
The venue opened in 2019 before the pandemic and is expected to be in place for around five years while the 30-acre Mayfield site close to Piccadilly Station undergoes a £1.4bn regeneration led by the Mayfield Partnership.
Venue Lab describes itself as a “full-service venue agency, which gives brands, event agents, corporate bookers, consumers, location scouts and filmmakers access to an array of impressive and exclusive spaces…each with their own narrative”.
It helps to stages events in locations ranging from boutique townhouses in London’s West End, to purpose-built venues, secluded gardens, industrial warehouses and high-rise city viewpoints, and offers spaces small enough for an intimate dinner, right up to large-scale corporate conferences.
However, it has yet to release its programme for EventCity. Jemma Scott, head of agency at Venue Lab, said: “I am beyond excited to be adding this incredible venue to our portfolio and thrilled that it is our second space in Manchester [after Mayfield Depot].”
And Paul Chappels, director of facilities and asset management at Peel L&P, Peel’s development arm, added: “We’re really pleased that Venue Lab has come on board to allow quality events to continue at EventCity up until early 2022 when work will start on Therme Manchester.
“As restrictions have eased, we’ve seen that people want to enjoy events again in a safe environment and we’re confident that Venue Lab will be able to offer a great leisure attraction at EventCity.
“We’re also excited about the opportunities to work with [Venue Lab] across more of our developments.”
EventCity is located within Peel’s TraffordCity complex, close to the Trafford Centre shopping mall. It has staged numerous conferences, events and trade exhibitions, including the Ideal Home Show, National Wedding Show and the Caravan and Motorhome Show, among others.
The multipurpose facility features four flexible halls that can be hired individually and exclusively, plus meeting rooms and organiser offices.
The 700,000 sq ft Therme Manchester is planned to occupy the 28-acre EventCity site, and combine water-based activities with wellbeing treatments, art, nature and technology.
Led by developer Therme Group, the resort will contain a two-acre wellbeing garden, a large family zone with a wave pool, waterslides, indoor and outdoor pools and steam rooms, and a dedicated adults’ area with warm-water lagoons – all expected to attract up to two million visitors per year.