Manchester’s forgotten railway station Mayfield Depot, which closed permanently in 1986, is set to be transformed into a huge new cultural venue and creative hub tipped to become one of Manchester’s biggest ever city centre attractions.

The huge new development plans will create a 10,000 capacity space for performance, community and studio use with predictions of up to a million yearly visitors.

The new venue, aptly called Depot, is set to officially launch at Mayfield this summer, with Manchester Pride Live on 24th and 25th August 2019.

Subject to planning consent, the currently unused dilapidated station will morph into a multi-use cultural venue for the city, with full use of the space planned over the next five years.

Photo: Luke Hayes

Costing a massive £1 billion, this huge regeneration project will see all 30 acres of the Mayfield site brought back to life and reinvented.

The project is a collaboration between The Mayfield Partnership (U+I, Manchester City Council, Transport for Greater Manchester and LCR) and venue specialists Broadwick Venues and Vibration Group (the team behind London’s hugely successful Printworks, The Drumsheds and Exhibition London).

Alongside the 10,000 capacity performance space, if plans are accepted the venue will also boast two other smaller areas for more intimate events.

The first of which is called Concourse, an area providing a range of free community events and activities as well as food experiences.

The second space, Archive, will offer a more intimate performance space as well as rehearsal and studio space for local artists.

Mayfield has already become somewhat of a cultural hub in the past few years, with a number of events including several commissions by Manchester International Festival, with one set to be staged at the former train station as part of MIF19.

Organisers are planning on bringing an array of high profile, contemporary artists, performers and shows to the venue, with some set to be announced in the weeks ahead.

The plans aim to transform Mayfield into a world class urban neighbourhood over the next decade, with new office and leisure spaces, a park, homes and even a hotel also in the mix.

Chief development officer Richard Upton says the goal is to add something to the Mancunian landscape that is unique, not just in Manchester but in the whole of the UK.

“Depot will be a place that blends the global with the local and where international stars and local school children will be able to access the same quality performance and studio space. It will be democratic and distinctive.”

Following approval, work on phase one of the wider Mayfield development is due to start later this year.

Events being lined up for the new venue include live music and concerts from both international artists and local performers, theatre and dance shows including tours and festivals, community events, a market hall, pre-recorded music events, exhibitions and art installations, corporate hire and pop up cinemas/football screenings.

Simeon Aldred, creative director of Vibration Group (creators of London’s Printworks), shared his excitement at being a part of the new joint venture.

“Our team are famous for our work in cultural regeneration but in a city as rich as Manchester culturally, we have an exciting opportunity to bush the boundaries in the next level in terms of performance.

“We are also super excited to programme a broad spectrum of arts in the venue from newly commissioned ballet through to orchestral residencies and free events for the people of Manchester.”

Bringing the past of Manchester into its future, we can’t wait for Mayfield Depot to be fully transformed into a gigantic cultural hub. Just think of the potential for raves and gigs!

Great Northern Warehouse Manchester

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