Blackpool firm’s £6.75m scheme

Contact staff Manchester
Contact staff Manchester

A Blackpool building firm has won the £6.75m contract to revamp a top North West theatre and arts hub.

The Contact in Manchester has appointed award-winning contractors F Parkinson Ltd for its major building redevelopment.

The Contact theatre and arts complex in Manchester

The Contact theatre and arts complex in Manchester

The project will transform the well-used Oxford Road building for the next generation of audiences, artists and young people.

Contact is a leading theatre and arts venue which puts young people at the heart of every aspect of the organisation and is recognised nationally and internationally as a centre for excellence in the promotion of youth leadership and creativity.

First established in 1972, Contact last underwent a major building redevelopment in 1999 with a ground-breaking new environmentally sustainable design.

Twenty years on, the building needs to expand in order to cope with the growing demand as well as further improving its economic and environmental sustainability.

This next stage in the building’s evolution will see Contact open in summer 2019 with new and improved performance spaces; a recording studio for young people’s music projects; an arts and health development space; new offices for artists and cultural organisations to hire and work alongside Contact staff and a new café/bar.

F Parkinson Ltd was established in 1934 in Blackpool and has since opened regional offices in Manchester and York.

It operates throughout the north of England and its vision is to be recognised for its outstanding achievements in social value, as well as delivering award-winning environmentally responsible projects.

Billie Meredith, a member of Con:Struct, Contact’s youth group which has worked on the project, said: “Being on the interview panel for Parkinson it was easy to see how well a fit they are; a great, hardworking company who care a lot for their community."

Steve Williamson, regional director at F Parkinson Ltd said: “Parkinson’s are delighted to be appointed to deliver Contact’s fantastic redevelopment scheme.

Their organisational values mirror our own which will enable a truly collaborative approach to leave a lasting legacy for the young people of Greater Manchester.”

The project has been funded thanks to a £3.85m investment from Arts Council England plus grants from other supporters, trusts and foundations.