Ahead of their Open House event this Thu 21 Jul, in which Manchester Central will welcome the public back beneath its iconic vaulted arches, the team behind the venue have shared their ten most iconic moments from its illustrious history.

Once Manchester’s main railway station, construction to transform the building into an exhibition and events centre officially started back in 1982. Since then, it has become one of the most culturally important venues in the city, welcoming an endless list of noteworthy visitors throughout the years, from royalty and politicians, right through to musical greats and X Factor finals.

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 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 the venue’s biggest events, 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 doors to Manchester International Festival and celebrating the return of events (June 2021)

Shaun Hinds, CEO at Manchester Central, 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 cannot wait to see what the next 40 years bring!”

Got your own memories of the building? The team want to hear them, head over to their social channels to get involved.

The Manchester Central Open House Day will include a photo exhibition, tour of the building and shared workspaces for anyone needing to catch up on emails.

There will also be a variety of educational sessions on offer, including 5 Ways to Wellbeing and Introduction to Mindfulness, both by local mental health charity Manchester Mind; Manchester: A Destination for Business, a two-hour session from the GM Chamber of Commerce with Night Time Economy Advisor Sacha Lord joining for a discussion of the city’s growth and future, and a conversation on the nature and meaning of innovation by Elevate.

To sign up for any of the above events, or for a bit more information about the open day in general, hit the button below.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Thu 21 Jul, Manchester Central,
Windmill St, Manchester M2 3GX
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Mon 11 Jul 2022