Manchester’s Printworks ready to relaunch after £27m refurbishment including Europe's largest digital ceiling

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It's been a popular spot for generations of Mancunian revellers.

An iconic Mancunian nightlife spot for generations is about to relaunch following a multi-million-pound refurbishment.

Manchester’s Printworks has undergone a £27m improvement project, with £21m of that being spent on transforming it into a ‘digital first entertainment venue’. That involves installing the largest digital ceiling in Europe transforming, at a massive 1,000 sqm.

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Alongside the video ceiling, there will be  a ‘giant interactive e-gaming screen’ and ‘spectacular lighting and sound effects’ after the investment. The remaining £6m has been spent on an upgrade to the Vue Cinema, bosses added.

Opening in 2000, Printworks has been a popular spot for generations of Mancunian revellers, with it still drawing in punters a quarter of a century on.  The Printworks building was first used as commercial space in the mid-19th century, before being acquired by various newspaper owners. It was shut down in 1988, and left empty and dormant for a decade.

How the new video ceiling at the Printworks will look. How the new video ceiling at the Printworks will look.
How the new video ceiling at the Printworks will look. | Printworks

In 1998, it was redeveloped as part of the city’s reconstruction following the 1996 IRA bombing, with the £110 million transformation into a leisure spot being financed by organisations in the Co-op group. Now, it boasts boozers like Walkabout, Wetherspoons, and Yates, plus leisure spots like Vue cinema, tenpin bowling, and Treetop crazy golf. 

That’s alongside popular high street restaurants like Nando’s, Wagamamas, and Frankie & Benny’s. However, it has had to show ‘resilience’ during the pandemic, added Ben Haller, director at owners DTZ Investors. He added that ‘refurbishing this iconic venue remains part of our vision’. 

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“The leisure sector continues to transition as visitors seek the ultimate experience with technology redefining both expectations and possibilities,” he went on. “Visitors will soon benefit from just that with a fully immersive and interactive environment on a scale not previously seen in the UK, making it an ideal location for existing and future venues.”

The complex will formally relaunch on March 21, which will feature a performance from TikTok star SUAT. The DJ will be ‘will also be live streaming from the city centre during the day with his portable decks and giving away tickets for VIP access to the launch party’, the venue added.

After the March 21 launch party, visitors can see the ceiling screens for free from 9am – 12am Sunday to Thursday, and 9am – 2am Friday to Saturday. The party starts at 7pm, with SUAT on stage at 8:30pm.

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