£2m investment to develop and expand huge new Manchester venue

The team behind Manchester’s enormous new street food and live music venue has announced a fresh £2m investment for phase two of the development.

Piccadilly venue Escape to Freight Island has been open for four months – and after the initial success, has announced an additional fund to develop and expand the inside Ticket Hall area.

Based inside the huge warehouse building at Depot Mayfield, the venue originally opened in July, and hopes to open once again after the current English lockdown ends next week.

The creator and owner of Freight Island, Gareth Cooper, said: “We are really proud and excited to have taken on this ambitious project in the middle of a pandemic. Part of the adventure was to create something totally unique but also it was very important to me that we always had an eye on helping out Manchester and its people.

“It did feel like a responsibility that whilst the world was doom and gloom and shutting up shop and waiting for the end that I got out there and took the challenge on and went forward with the total belief that what was at the end of the journey would be an epic venue for Manchester and the North West.

“We needed to create something that shone out, the moved the marker forward and with the help of huge amounts of people we got there and we are well proud of what we’ve done.”

The development has come as part of the wider £1.4bn transformation of Manchester’s Mayfield District, with the newly-opened Ticket Hall giving the inside and outside venue a joint capacity of 1,200.

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It has created more than 1,000 jobs including full-time hospitality staff, on site builders, event crew, artists, DJs and performers, and has seen over 80,000 visitors since its launch.

According to its owners, the expansion is set to continue into 2021, giving the venue “a genuinely exciting future”.

Arlene Van Bosch, development director for the Mayfield Partnership said: “Gareth and his visionary team deserve incredible credit for their creation of Freight Island and now The Ticket Hall in these unprecedented times of challenge for the hospitality sector.”

The site was previously part of Manchester Pride Live and the Warehouse Project last year, as well as hosting some Manchester International Festival events.

Business Live – North West