Press Release: The top ten moments in the venues history

In celebration of its Open House event on July 21st, Manchester Central has announced its favourite moments over the past four decades.

G-MEX - First Exhibition - Enterprise NW.
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Once Manchester’s main railway station, construction to develop the exhibition and events centre was officially started 1982 and having become one of the most culturally important venues in the city-region, it has since welcomed a host of visitors through its doors across a diverse range of events, including Royalty, politicians, celebrities and music-greats such as U2, Metallica, Oasis and most recently, Brit Award winner Arlo Parks. 

It has also been at the forefront of some of the most important ideas, deals and policy-making, including the Children’s Global Media Summit in 2017, which saw leaders from Netflix, Disney, PBS and BBC attend to discuss a responsible future for children’s media.

Here, Shaun Hinds, CEO at Manchester Central, reveals the venue’s most memorable moments in chronological order:

  1. Marking the end of the train station era, the last train departs the now Central Hall, bound for Warrington (May 1969)

  2. The very first business exhibition is held at the venue – Enterprise North West (March 1986)

  3. Factory Records host their ‘Festival of the Tenth Summer’ celebrating the 10th anniversary of punk in the city, with appearances by the Smiths, and New Order (July 1986)

  4. The venue is chosen as the 2002 Commonwealth Games venue for gymnastics, weightlifting, judo and wrestling (2002)

  5. Hosting a community celebration for the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee (June 2012)

  6. The venue hosts the The X Factor Final for 10,000 fans its first time out of London, seeing James Arthur steal the title (December 2012)

  7. ITV’s Ninja Warrior UK course comes to life for the first time in Central Hall (April 2015)

  8. Celebrating 10 years since becoming Manchester Central with some of our biggest events who have made us their home, including HOUSING, MegaCon and UCAS (September 2017)

  9. The venue becomes an NHS Nightingale Hospital to aid the global Coronavirus pandemic (April 2020) 

  10. Opening our doors to Manchester International Festival and celebrating the return of events (June 2021)

Shaun Hinds said of the list: “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 cannot wait to see what the next 40 years bring!”

The venue’s doors will open to the public on Thursday 21 July. As well as showcasing the history of the site, visitors can take a tour of the venue, view its photo exhibition and benefit from the venue’s pop-up shared workspace for the day. 

Running from 8am to 4.30pm, visitors will also be able to take part in various activities including mindfulness and wellbeing sessions, gain advice and insights on innovation in business with Elevate, and listen to panel events with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, with speakers including Chris Fletcher, Policy and Campaigns Director at the Chamber, Manchester Central’s own CEO Shaun Hinds, and Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester.

Shaun Hinds continued:  “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 on Thursday 21 July.”

Ahead of the day, the team are encouraging everyone to share their most memorable moments of the venue so far, tagging the venue on Twitter and Instagram, @mcr_central.

To register interest in Manchester Central’s Open House event or book on any of the sessions, please use the link below:


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