FAQs

Where is HOME?

HOME is on the First Street North site, just off Whitworth Street West. It is on the same site as the Number One First Street building and is roughly opposite the Hacienda apartments.

How do I get to HOME?

HOME is a five to ten minute walk from Oxford Road Station (depending how fast you walk) and less than five minutes from the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop. We will be talking to bus operators about making sure some bus routes change to service our site. See Location for a map.

What’s on offer at HOME?

In one building, you’ll be able to see original new work in contemporary visual art, theatre and film. More information in Building.

When will it open?

HOME is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

Who are the architects and builders working on on HOME?

The overall design for HOME is led by Mecanoo, an internationally recognised architectural practice based in the Netherlands. Wates Construction lead the design team, which also includes Buro Happold EngineersConcrete AmsterdamSpace Group and Charcoal Blue. Read architect Ernst ter Horst’s blog about designing HOME.

How much will it cost to build HOME?

The overall budget for the project is £25 million. Manchester City Council has committed £19 million and Arts Council England has awarded £5 million capital funding as part of its capital investment programme. The remaining £1million will be met by fundraising. The Garfield Weston Foundation has already donated £250,000.

Will Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company (LTC) cease to exist when HOME opens?

Yes, we’re creating a brand new organisation! As a first step we merged back in April 2012, and we’ve been working together at our current building on Oxford Street since then.

The Library Theatre Company has already produced it’s final show at the Lowry. We’ve now launched a HOME season of work in found spaces this summer and autumn.

Cornerhouse will continue until we move to the new venue in spring 2015. From then we’ll be one organisation, HOME, delivering new, commissioned work, the very best in contemporary art, theatre, film and books and delicious food and drink.

Putting film, theatre, visual arts and creative industries under one roof will create something really unique in the UK. It means we can develop exciting collaborations across the wide range of artforms we cover and commission new work to bring together visual artists with theatre practitioners, filmmakers with musicians and dramatists, writers with visual artists etc.

Why is Cornerhouse moving?

The current Cornerhouse building, leased from the council for a peppercorn rent, isn’t really coping with the 500,000 people who visit each year and the cinemas and galleries don’t do justice to the work we’re showing. The more successful we become, the more people attend, the more the visitor experience degrades. The main building was built in the early 1900’s and is very expensive to run, requiring continuous, costly maintenance. Unfortunately it is also very prone to structural problems such as leaks in the roof, as is the Cinema 1 building over the road.

Given the impact of the economic climate on funding, it’s also really important for us to improve our long-term business sustainability. Creating additional trading capacity to increase income generation is essential to this. For example, having five cinema screens increases our revenue opportunities, as we won’t have to stop screening popular films to put on new ones because we have limited screening space.

HOME will be a high profile, open and welcoming destination and this will help us to increase attendances, both from local audiences and from national and international visitors – all of which is great for the city’s economy. The purpose built, high quality spaces will give us more scope for collaboration, learning experiences and innovative programming, so we’ll have more opportunities to get audiences involved.

Cornerhouse is part of Plus Tate and a number of other prestigious visual arts networks. To play a full role in these we really need to up our game in this area and unfortunately our current galleries are no longer adequate to meet artists’ needs. The new venue will have larger, brighter, more flexible galleries. It will also have high quality production facilities that will help us to improve the quality of artistic output.

What won’t change: Our programme will have exactly the same commitment to independence and quality and you’ll still get the same friendly and relaxed welcome from the team.

What will happen to the existing Cornerhouse buildings?

There are no plans at the moment for the future of the current Cornerhouse building and it’s unlikely to be fully decided until after we move in 2015. The building is part of a separate development plan focused on redeveloping and integrating the Oxford Road Station Area. This work is in the very early stages and is being managed by Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council and Network Rail. More information can be found on their website.

Where did the name HOME come from?

In June 2012 we worked with Creative Concern and held workshops and interviews with over 150 people across audience groups, staff, artists, partners and local communities. We wanted to find out what people wanted from the new organisation, including what they thought its character, its atmosphere should be like and what it should stand for. In addition, a substantial research exercise covering comparable international organisations and their names, identities and visual brands was carried out. As well as providing inspiration for our identity, this research is informing everything from programme development to interior design. Steve Connor from Creative Concern has written a blog about the workshops.

Home was a reference point for much of the workshop discussions (second home, feeling at home, home of great work) and following discussions with staff and stakeholders it emerged as one of the strongest possible names for the organisation. It evokes accessibility, welcome and warmth, connection, a sense of ownership and personal relationships – all of which came out in our discussions with audiences as essential to the atmosphere and character of the new organisation. Based on what we heard from audiences in the workshops and the discussions we had with staff, we also wanted to avoid anything that tried too hard, that came across as pretentious, convoluted or overworked or that needed a lot of explanation.

Why not keep Cornerhouse or Library Theatre Company as the name?

It was a decision that was given a great deal of thought during the workshops and interviews and the development work.
We are creating a new organisation that brings together Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. The new building and the new organisation signify something new and exciting happening in Manchester and we want to start a new piece of our history that looks forward but takes the very best from our rich heritage. When we spoke to people in the workshops it was clear that there was a great deal of emotional and personal attachment to both the existing names that would be hard to let go of, but that it could also be a wasted opportunity to transfer the name as this wouldn’t genuinely signal that something new and exciting was happening. Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company mean so much to their audiences because of our staff, the programming, the atmosphere and the individuality of the organisations and this will definitely continue at HOME.

Is HOME on social media?

You can already follow us on Twitter and Facebook plus listen and view content on our Audioboo, Flickr and Vimeo channels. Other social media feeds will launch later in 2015.

How ‘green’ will HOME be?

HOME will meet Manchester City Council’s policy for low carbon development, sustainable procurement and operation. The aim is to achieve the new BREEAM Excellent rating and is on target to achieve BREEAM Very Good, which is a significant achievement considering the number of auditoria in the building (BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method and is the international standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation). The new building will be energy efficient and keep our utilities costs and environmental impact down. We’ll have a Building Management System which will allow us to ensure the operation of the building is controlled, monitored and adjusted to ensure it’s running at peak efficiency. This includes remote monitoring of energy meters to check our consumption.

We are already a zero-to-landfill organisation, and have a Gold Award from Manchester City Council’s Environmental Business Pledge Scheme, in recognition of the measures we have taken to reduce our environmental footprint and improve our sustainability. In 2011 we signed up to become part of the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team. The initial year long programme, facilitated by Julie’s Bicycle, aimed to make environmental sustainability intrinsic to the plans and aspirations of arts and creative industry organisations in Manchester. We’re definitely planning to build on this work when we move to HOME.

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