The Venue of Value 2015
On Monday 6 July, representatives from BuroHappold Engineering were joined in Manchester by a selection of culture sector leaders to debate The Venue of Value. This workshop event was held in partnership with Barker Langham and Fisher Dachs and was introduced by the Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese.
Held at The Glass House, a venue constructed only every two years for the duration of the Manchester International Festival, the event invited people from leading organisations, from the public, private and third sectors. The day’s discussions were centred on the future of the cultural ecosystem and how changes could be made to maximise the economic and social benefits of cultural venues.
The day started with a fantastic introduction from a Manchester perspective from Sir Richard Leese, which as part of a wider speech, included why investing in culture is so important to Manchester, and was followed by three keynote presentations from Darren Barker, Barker Langham, Joshua Dachs, Fisher Dachs and Stephen Jolly from BuroHappold.
The three speakers each looked at the day’s topic from a different perspective, ranging from the recession and the effect of the new financial landscape through to inspiring examples of international cultural initiatives that are helping to reshape the sector. We also had the chance to explore some great examples of successful cultural spaces from around the world.
After the presentations the participants used a workshop format to explore in groups a range of questions. Together they debated the key issues from government policy, to city leadership through to the drivers of success for the venue itself. This was considered through the eyes of various stakeholders and user groups. The debate was lively and with a broad range of organisations represented, the various differing perspectives gave rise to some interesting conclusions.
Following the workshop the group took guided tours of two recently opened Manchester cultural spaces, The Whitworth, which was recently named Museum of the Year and has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture, and HOME, which opened in April and has been used as a venue for the 2015 Manchester International Festival.
Watch this space for a summary of the key emerging themes will be published soon.