Wates wins new Cornerhouse contract

Wates Construction has been appointed by Manchester City Council to deliver HOME, the new £25m theatre and cinema in First Street.

Designed by Mecanoo Architects, HOME will house the merged Cornerhouse art cinema and Library Theatre Company.

Construction is set to start this month and HOME is scheduled to open in 2014.

The facilities will include a 500-seat theatre, 150-seat flexible studio space, 5,000 sq ft gallery space, five cinema screens, education spaces, digital production and broadcast facilities, café bar, restaurant and offices.

Throughout the work a minimum of ten sustainable apprenticeship positions will be created via the Greater Manchester Construction Group Training Association, joining a site team of more than 200. The project will also see Wates host a series of meet-the-buyer events to facilitate the appointment of local suppliers and sub-contractors.

Planning permission for the scheme, which forms part of an £80m investment programme at First Street North, was granted in June last year.

Dave Moutrey, director and chief executive of HOME, said "We look forward to the next exciting milestone for the project as we move into the construction phase for HOME. This will be a fantastic venue for all, including young people, the local community and of course, the loyal audiences of our two founding organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. The work will be of just as high a standard but the purpose built setting, improved facilities and convenient location will be refreshing and exciting; a much loved experience made even better."

The council's development partner at First Street North is Ask Developments.

Wates was awarded the work through the North West Construction Hub following its appointment to both the medium and high value frameworks in 2010.

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Nice to see the Council supporting local Architects in Manchester, not

By James Peters

I am sure that the city fathers of Delft will be handing out architectural work to Mancunians in the near future. Any Manc windmill specialists out there?

By Sebastian Melmoth