Manchester Central shares the top ten moments in its history

Top moments at the events centre include hosting The X Factor Final in 2012 and transforming into the Ninja Warrior UK course in 2015.
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The venue held the X-Factor Finals in 2012. The venue held the X-Factor Finals in 2012.
The venue held the X-Factor Finals in 2012.

Manchester Central will be hosting an Open House event on July 21 2022 as it celebrates an anniversary.

As part of the celebration the exhibition and events space has taken a look back at the past four decades and announced its favourite moments since its formation.

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The Manchester Central building was once a railway station but in 1982 the process to transform it into a culturally significant centre began.

Over the years it has seen members of the royal family, politicians, celebrities and musicians.

Shaun Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central, has ranked the venues most memorable moments. He said: “There have been so many globally important connections, memorable performances and historic deals that have taken place at this site since it opened as an events venue back in the ‘80s, and we’re very proud to relive these as part of our Open House event.

“We can’t wait to see what the next 40 years bring.”

Most memorable moments at Manchester Central

  1. The last train departed the station in May 1969. It left for Warrington from what is now the Central Hall of the building. 
  2. In March of 1986 the very first business exhibition was held at the venue. It was named Enterprise North West. 
  3. The ‘Festival of the Tenth Summer’ was held in July of 1986. It was hosted by factory records and special guests included the Smiths and New Order. The event celebrated ten years of punk music in the city. 
  4. Manchester Central was chosen to be the 2002 Commonwealth Games venue for gymnastics, weight lifting, Judo and Wrestling. 
  5. There was a community celebration for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012. 
  6. In December 2012 the X Factor Final was hosted in Manchester Central. 10,000 people watched James Arthur win the competition. It was the first time the event was held outside of London. 
  7. A giant obstacle course was built inside Central Hall in April 2015 for the filming of ITV’s Ninja Warrior UK. 
  8. In September of 2017 events such as Megacon, UCAS and HOUSING celebrated 10 years of working with Manchester Central. 
  9. The Manchester International Festival took place in June 2021. 
  10. In April 2020 the venue became an NHS Nightingale Hospital to aid in the Coronavirus pandemic. 
The train station was converted into an exhibition and events centre. The train station was converted into an exhibition and events centre.
The train station was converted into an exhibition and events centre.

Manchester Central will be open to the public on July 21 - guests will be able to tour the venue and soak up its history in the new photo exhibition.

It will run from 8am to 4.30pm.

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There will be mindfulness and wellbeing sessions as well as business insight sessions with Elevate.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce will host a panel at the event with speakers including Chris Fletcher (policy and campaigns director at the CoC), Shaun Hinds from Manchester Central and Sacha Lord (the Night Time Economy Advisor for Greater Manchester).

Shaun said: “Our Open House event will give Mancunians the opportunity once again to visit this iconic part of Manchester’s history.

“We are excited to welcome everyone inside to take a look around and meet some of the team.”

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Ahead of the event people can share their most memorable moment of Manchester Central on social media and tag @mcr_central in their posts.

To register interest or book onto a session visit their website here. 

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